Over recent days I have been inundated with emails from all over the world, offering me every sort of wonder.
I have apparently won millions in lottos and prize draws I never knew I had entered. Which reminds me, Father Micheal, left me in a few books of parish Christmas draw tickets. As well as unexpected lotto wins; I have complete strangers offering me hundreds of thousands, for no apparent reason, whatsoever. Thankfully most of these offers, which are too good to be true, end up in my junk box. The proposals don’t end there, I must contend with business proposals and unsolicited corporate advice. From offers for tablets, for conditions I didn’t know exist, to miracle cures which would transform me, into a six foot two, athletic, running machine.
Of all this nonsense, it’s unfortunate I haven’t been sent any emails, relating to getting the most out of your slow cooker. I was looking forward, to sending the links to Father Gerard.
Alas, every week seems to produce a new excuse, for a torrent of junk mail. Now, that I have survived Black Friday, I have discovered, I now must content with Cyber Monday. In between time, we have the beginning of the new Church Year.
I was wondering, what concept we could come up within this period of special, bargain sales. Personally, I like Champions League Tuesdays and Wednesdays, although most Man United supporters prefer, Europa League Thursdays. I need to be careful; if events conspire to go wrong, I too, could sitting in on a Thursday evening at 5pm. Father Michael prefers a Padro Pio Monday or a Saint Michael the Archangel Thursday. While Father Gerard likes a good penitential Monday and a Fatima Tuesday or is that a Lourdes Wednesday. Whatever your preferences, there seems to be ample provision.
Taken as a totality, last weekend’s readings offer both consolation and warning. Beginning a new Church year, we reflect on the past twelve months, as a means to prepare for the present and the future. Generally, our lives, are a mosaic of light and darkness. Likewise, the scripture readings from the first Sunday of advent, address both the areas of light and darkness in our lives. Now, is an opportune time to ask searching questions. Ultimately, who are we, as we stand before God? The wisdom of the scriptures reminds each of us how we’re creatures, yet made in the image and likeness of God. In Jesus, God, revealed himself, as a trinity of persons, distinct and yet in relation. What binds the three persons at the heart of God, is their selfless love. God The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit aren’t afraid to lose themselves, as they sacrifice all that they are, in surrender to one other. Considering all that we’re bombarded with, during these days of preparation, how forgetful are we of ourselves.
During the festive period, we often see the best of people, their willingness to share and offer hospitality. As we consider the mystery of God’s presence among us and his future return, what do our preparations, and the nature of celebrations; reflect, what is in our hearts? Can we help people experience the presence of Christ in the weeks ahead, or will add to peoples burdens and their sense of dread?