Almost halfway through Advent…

We\’re approaching the halfway point of Advent and some of us may be feeling like the foolish virgins pictured above…the oil has run out, and there seems to be no hope of getting more in time for the Bridegroom\’s arrival. It\’s easy to get like this. Advent is a relatively short season, and it\’s difficult to carve out time to wait patiently, to meditate on the Lord\’s coming. It can even become a prime moment for a really intense bout of self-pity. Here I am, trying to keep a good Advent while the world celebrates Christmas from Thanksgiving (or Halloween!) onward. Here I am, trying to share my experience of Advent with the world and no one gets it. Here I am, meditating on the coming of Christ incarnate in our world (not to mention meditating on the four last things!) and all around me it\’s like a big happy party that I haven\’t been invited to. Poor me!
These problems are microscopic compared to all the truly horrific things happening in the world…shootings, refugee crises, world hunger, terrorism. But at the same time they are still meaningful. Just because something is incredibly trivial doesn\’t mean it hurts less. Sometimes it\’s the little things that hurt the most. The thing to remember is that these hurts and slights and pains are not the end of the story. We may not be able to change the world, but we can change ourselves by cooperating and accepting and being open to God\’s grace. There is still time, this Advent season, to buy more oil and prepare for the coming of Christ. There is still time to awaken from the drowsiness of self-pity and unreasonable depression and go out to meet Christ with joy. There is still time to help others, to spread the Good News through our small and everyday acts of love, to pray for all those people suffering so terribly in so many parts of this world and to support them through prayers and material donations, etc. There is still time! We are only halfway through Advent…

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