Hope is one of the gifts that we have received from God through Holy Baptism. Hope is having an abiding trust that God will fulfill His promises to humanity. This includes the timing and the way God choses to fulfill it.
The First and Second Sundays of Advent focus on the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ to return at the end of time. It will happen at an unknown day and hour. This is not to instill terror in us. It is a reminder to receive the gift of each day to glorify God and promote the true and lasting good for others and ourselves.
The Third and Fourth Sundays focus on the first coming of the eternal Son of God into our world by sharing in our humanity except sin. Once again, we receive the good news of great joy that is for everyone to receive. Our Lord God and Savior has come to liberate us from sin and death, and to enjoy a fruitful life on earth (cf. Luke 2:10-11). Even during a pandemic.
Whether we are celebrating Advent during a pandemic or any circumstance, having hope in Christ is our strength for living. Hope is not wishful thinking. Hope is a confident expectation that God is at work for our good, whether we can detect it or not.
I invite you to take advantage of the opportunities that our parish offers to observe a fruitful Advent in preparation for Christmas.
Father Raymond Harris