This is my reflection for today published in Give Us This Day, from Liturgical Press. To order a subscription to Give Us This Day, CLICK HERE
The Scriptures and prayers of Advent rouse within our hearts a deep, passionate desire for God. If we have the courage to pray together in Advent, sifting through the tragedies of life and the aches of our human spirits, we may find the compassion God promises us in our day and time.
As a pastor I know how fragile relationships can become. Only God can call us back to trust in miracles again. Just as Isaiah likened the people of God to a wife forsaken and lost, we find our way back home in these rather uncertain days of Advent. Advent cultivates hope within our souls to carry on as parents, families and believers.
We hope that our child struggling with addictions will return home from college and join us at the Christmas table so we can be a family again. We pray that a mother suffering from Alzheimer’s will recognize her children and grandchildren when they come home to visit next week. We wait for an unfaithful spouse to return with body and soul this wintery Christmas. We question our faith because the debilitating cancer has returned to our thirteen-year-old niece.
As struggling believers, we cling to the words of John the Baptist, who insists that we focus on the Kingdom of Heaven. Even in the excruciating suffering of the present, we find the eternity of love that has roused hope in human life for generations. “At nightfall, weeping enters in, but the dawn, rejoicing.”
Fr. Ronald Raab
Ronald Patrick Raab, CSC, is pastor of the Tri-Community Catholic Parish in Colorado Springs. He formerly served as associate pastor at Saint Andre Bessette Church in Old Town, Portland, OR. Learn more at http://www.ronaldraab.com