Advent of hope: Weekly Message for 12-06-2022

Dear Friends in Christ,

Years ago, a stock image in print cartoons was that of a man restlessly pacing in a waiting room as his wife was in labor in the nearby maternity ward. The husband would be depicted as an emotional wreck, nervously puffing away on cigarettes as he awaited news about his spouse and their baby.

The Church in this season of Advent also awaits a Birth, though without the anxiety (or nervous puffing).

And yet, a sense of unease hangs in the air. The forces against human life seem to be gaining strength—and we wonder when the tide will turn. War and economic concerns continue to rattle the globe—and we wonder when nations will live at peace. For hope, we might look to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the one who nourished in her womb the vulnerable Babe who would change the world.

We all share in a mission like Mary’s. We are all called, in our own way, to nurture and protect the unborn, the helpless, the weak, the struggling, the disabled, the poor, the marginalized. We help fulfill this mission by our prayers, acts of charity, and emotional support—whatever it takes to build families and communities.

To live this Advent more deeply, we might think about ways to reach out to those struggling in our midst. For they, too, have a role in God’s plans. Our efforts could also help us to identify more with the Holy Couple of Nazareth, who offered what they could to collaborate with God’s plan.

To live this season more deeply, it might help to pray our Marian-themed Advent Retreat Guide: A Woman Clothed with the Sun.

It could remind you of why we have reason for hope.

In Christ,

Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor

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