Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The season of Advent evokes in Christians a time of hope, of peace and of repentance. Our hope is based on the risen, living Christ who has already ‘won the victory’, and so much wants to share that with us through his Spirit. Advent reminds us that Christ wants to come into our lives, come close. And as we prepare for Christmas, we recall that he is the prince of peace. How much the world needs his peace!
What a wonderful call: to share Christ’s mission of making peace! Now more than ever. But before we get carried away, the Church wisely calls each of us to repentance: ‘It is the hour for you to wake up from sleep…Let us throw off the works of darkness.’ With God’s help, pick one area to ‘throw off’ this Advent, to become a peace-maker, to be hope-filled once again!
—Mark Henninger, S.J. serves as a Pastoral Care chaplain at Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood IL.
With inward pain my heartstrings sound,
My soul dissolves away;
Dear Sovereign, whirl the seasons round,
Whirl the seasons round, and bring,
And bring the promised day,
And bring the promised day.
—Early American hymn