Joy of Advent

Third Sunday of Advent - Shepherd Candle

Are you enjoying Advent? I like a long Advent, as this years is – the maximum of five weeks. Preparation and anticipation are two joys I learned early in our family, where I also learned the joy of memory and looking back.

Bringing the future and past into the present is a 3-fold measure of time. The joy of Christ’s birth is always new. We see this in the excitement of children beginning to understand the magic of Christmas, but also in our own deeper understanding, as the years go by, of the mystery of God’s coming amongst us, living our human life. How to explain that? Charities touch into this joy of family and faith, asking us to be more generous at this time. Do you find it easy to listen or are you leery of the big charities targeting their prey – you and

The joy of Christ’s birth is always new. We see this in the excitement of children beginning to understand the magic of Christmas, but also in our own deeper understanding, as the years go by, of the mystery of God’s coming amongst us, living our human life. How to explain that?

Charities touch into this joy of family and faith, asking us to be more generous at this time. Do you find it easy to listen or are you leery of the big charities targeting their prey – you and me. To have revealed their clever but unpleasant tactics is to destroy the image of the good they do (two big charities are in the news this week for their unpleasant tactics) and reduces them to profit-making businesses and seeming to see people as money machines.

A son called to see his mother and saw a letter she had received from Let the Children Live, thanking her for her donation. He wrote to LTCL and explained he had been looking for a small charity to help, and included a cheque for £150,000.

Practical Action, Freedom from Torture, Oxfam, Mercy Ships, Emmaus, InterCare, CAFOD, Christian Aid – where do we stop? Where to start? Some people won’t give to any charity sending out appeals or advertising (“waste of money” – but how else would we hear about them?), pay salaries to their workers (people need to live), spend money on buildings (must work somewhere), travel (to see the problems), etc. Some of us think charity should be run by volunteers from their own homes and at their own expense . . .

Advent – the coming of Jesus each day in our prayer and good works, in preparation for celebrating the anniversary of his first coming at the Incarnation and his second coming at the end of time. I’d love to be there at the end of time, wouldn’t you? God bless us, now and then.

Fr John
11th December 2016
(Third Sunday of Advent)

Related Link: Fr John’s Parish Newsletters