Sunday, 27 November 2011
Advent has come... already!
The old has gone, the new has come... another liturgical year has once more finished: time really flies. It was only a realisation which slowly seeped into my conscious since we celebrated first Vespers of Advent yesterday. I can remember last year that I already anticipated the comping, of advent, my reflection of the week before looking towards the year that was finishing up, the reflection of Advent to what is ahead.
Si in the last week you might have reflected on the last year, and especially what has happened in our lives over the last year. You might have, I didn't... as mentioned above, advent kind of 'sprung' on me, maybe a reflection on how well I am tuned into the more 'spiritual side' of life at the moment.
So for anyone who is in the same situation as I am, I think is is good though to stand still now by this fact that we are moving into the new liturgical year. Advent is a time of reflection, and maybe now is a better time to see where we are then with the celebration of the start of the year 2012, which can be overshadowed by celebrations...
I is important, it seems to me to reflect on a regular basis on how God has been at work in our lives. It is often only in hindsight, after a significant amount of time that we can see that the wobbly, uneven and twisted path we walk on are actually much straighter than we initially thought... maybe we just had to be lead around a few difficulties on the way, in order not to get stuck in a swamp or fall down a cliff...
So this can be a good start of Advent, to consider this, and stand still especially on what God has done for us, where he is leading us. But after that Advent on itself seems a time to more look forward. Advent is a time of preparation, a time in which we look forward to God to become man through the incarnation, after which He walked amount us being borne with the nativity. The Gospel this week encourages us, taken from Mark 13:33-37, in which Jesus tells us to "Be on your guard, stay awake".
Especially the first two weeks of Advent are a reflection on the end-times, the second coming of Jesus. Hence the encouragement to be ready, to stand guard, "because you never know when the time will come".
Advent is a time when it is possible to make this extra effort, a bit like Lent, but different. It is a time to watch and pray, to make the effort to spend some time in preparation and reflect on our relation with our Lord, or on our readiness to meet Him when He comes, a coming which is a continues process, which is supposed to be a daily encounter....
The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.