Written on: December 2, 2016
There are many ways of entering into the season of Advent and drawing life from its spirit. My favorite is savoring it as a “Season of Hope” with its sister “Joy”. For us in the northern climes even the weather draws us into that attitude. The lush of summer has transitioned into the spectacular brilliance of autumn, which in turn has changed into the cold and oft time bleakness of winter as if to say,
“Let’s rest our senses for a while lest we take such splendid beauty for granted! But don’t worry, these beauties will return.”
True, the return of the seasons each year is an apt metaphor for hope and joy, but perhaps the deeper more abiding hope lies in our experience of the fidelity of the God of the Seasons. St. Paul said to the Romans, “Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Paul goes on to say,
“Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you”
. . . Now he’s talking; it’s not enough to have hope, we must be hope in order to give hope as Jesus did, and what could bring more hope and joy to anyone than a warm welcome? A welcome is open mind and heart and arms to embrace all. It’s an invitation to learn to think in harmony with others, the outcasts, the marginalized, the immigrants as well as those near and dear.
This week in the spirit of Advent, let’s reflect on the times when we received a warm welcome from someone and how that made us feel. Let the remembrance of that gift with the prayer of St. Paul motivate us to be a welcoming presence as we pray for each other and for all those seeking a welcome in our country.
May the God of endurance and encouragement
grant us to think in harmony with one another,
in keeping with Christ Jesus,
that with one accord we may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In case you missed it, here’s last week’s post
Sister Diane Bardol is Vice President of the Leadership Council of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart. She coordinates the GNSH Social Justice outreach activities and works with our Grey Nun Associates. Sister Diane represents the congregation with national organizations devoted to peace and justice.