Let us pray in Advent time with longing and waiting for the coming of the Lord
At this time of year, we move into winter, a time of quiet, of waiting in growing darkness for the return of the light. With the beginning of Advent, the Church also moves into an attitude of watchful waiting. The readings of the Advent liturgy invite in us two attitudes: hope for that which is not yet fulfilled and wakefulness of mind and heart. Together they prepare us to enter into the mystery of the divine gift; God with us.
At the heart of our faith is the conviction that in Bethlehem in Judea, God gave us in Jesus the definitive answer to all our longings; the fulfilment of the deepest desires of our hearts. The liturgy slowly teaches us to listen to this longing and, as we remain wakeful, we can begin to sense another longing that is deeper than our own: the longing that is in God for us.
The First Reading shows us how different our lives can be if we allow God to teach us to “walk in the light of the Lord”. The Second Reading reminds us to “stay awake” so as to notice what God is doing, while the Gospel tells us that Jesus’ coming will surprise us. The Psalm celebrates our joy that, in order that we may welcome God, we are first of all welcomed by God.
We pray for the graces of Advent – to grow in the virtue of hope that God is ever present, even when God seems to be hidden from us, and to stay awake to all that God is doing in our lives.