The First Sunday in Advent
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and I hope for his word.” Hope is such a precious gift from God. The Church teaches us that hope, “is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness.” Meaning that we desire God, we hope more than anything to dwell with him in heaven forever because that will truly make us happy. So what do you hope for; really, truly hope for? What is the promise you hope for, the expectation you want fulfilled, the dream you hope comes true? We hope for so many things. I hope to pass the bar exam. I hope that I can make it through high school. I hope I get a new car. I hope they give me that promotion I deserve. I hope my wife isn’t angry at me. I hope he remembers to pick up the kids. I hope Mass goes quickly today. I hope they cancel school. I hope we win the game. I hope she falls flat on her face. I hope no one notices. I hope she says yes. I hope he says no. I hope it is on sale today. I hope they are safe. I hope my parents never find out. I hope it does not rain. I hope it is not cold. I hope this day never ends. We hope for so much. Our expectations are so high. We look forward to so many things. But are we placing our hope and trust on what really counts? Are we hoping for what really matters most to us? The Advent Season is a great season of hope and expectation. It is a great season of waiting and anticipation. It is a great season of prayer and preparation. We wait in joyful hope for the fulfillment of the Father’s promise to send a shepherd, a king, a messiah, a savior to free us from the slavery of sin and to save us from the bonds of death. We hope for his coming; we long for it, we look forward to it, we hope and trust he will come soon. During this beautiful time and most sacred season, rather than occupy every thought, every moment, every opportunity with a great deal, an awesome sale, or getting the best price, let us return to sacred silence, to a moment of peace, to an opportunity for prayer to renew our hope in what really matters most which is preparing for Christ to bring us the gift of love and the promise of eternal salvation.