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First Sunday Advent

Alexa Smith, CND Halifax Associate

Isaiah 63.16b-17; 64.1, 3-8 / 1Corinthians 1.3-9 / Mark 13.33-37 

Mark tells us to: “Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.” 

Today we celebrate the 1st Sunday of Advent, the beginning of our Advent Journey. A time of waiting and hope as we await the celebration of Jesus` birth. A time of preparation for the arrival of someone special who is not a stranger to us. A time to deepen our relationships with all creation.

One evening last week I noticed I missed a facetime call on my iPad. Disappointed I missed the call I quickly clicked the call button hoping someone would be there to answer. When the connection was made I could see Sammy, who calls me Gramma, playing on the floor with his brother Alex. When he saw me on the screen he shouted, “Gramma, why didn`t you answer when I called?” My only response was “Honey, I`m sorry, the volume was down.”

Reflecting on today’s Gospel that simple question from a five year old resonated with me and my question to myself was “How often do I turn down the volume when my God is trying to speak to me, directly or through others?”

The Gospel today tells us to “Beware, keep alert” like the amber traffic light warning us to be cautious. How often might we be missing experiences of God because we have our volume turned down... sometimes off? How can we be alert and ready when we shut down and disconnect from the living Source?

Recently I read Sister Gilberte Bussière CND`s account Hostages With God, 57 days in captivity in the forest bordering Nigeria and Cameroon with two Italian priests. Sister Gilberte refers to how they had to be totally aware of their surroundings and the people around them while living a life of patience, love, compassion and hope.

“We thought of the guards as children of God, as our brothers and we tried to befriend them.” As captives they would pray that this day would be their last in captivity. And when this did not happen they never wavered in their hope and trust in God believing, “He awaits to celebrate our liberation with us.”

Today we begin our Advent Journey. Let us ask God to help US as Sister Gilberte and her companions were helped to “beware and alert” as THEY did not know when their liberators would come.

Let us journey with Mary and Marguerite as we pray that this Advent Season be a time of

HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE in our world. 

Photo credit: Marie-Claire Dugas


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