Reflection by Aidan Troy [Aodhán O Troighthigh] Please note: the view of the above alone.
Today at St Joseph’s, along with the Advent Masses, we have three extra blessings – a Carol Service, Nativity Pageant and Christmas Parish Social. It’s easy to take such blessings for granted, but each is a gift from God.
The task of us Advent pilgrims is to search for an answer to the question posed by St Mark’s Gospel – “Who is Jesus Christ?” The danger is that I may not take this question seriously. Surely, by now I know who Jesus is? But do I? If Advent 2017 is not another, ‘beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God’, then I have fallen into a trap.
The trap is to believe that by now all has been accomplished. Sometimes I fall into the trap of imagining that the Church is like a giant computer that has all possible answers stored. Press the right button and out comes the solution. Wrong. A paradox of faith is, that all has been given and, yet everything remains to be done.
True, we have four Gospels, each inspired Word of God. But, there is another Gospel yet to be written. It is our gospel, our good news. The writing doesn’t start with a blank sheet of paper but with falling in love with Jesus who is in love with each of us.
The gospel we write will always be done with Jesus as inspiration and guide. Pens are not needed. Jesus starts with a call to friendship and an offer of love. He is completely honest in telling us that to join hands and hearts with Him leads to the Cross.
‘Console my people, console them’ says God through His prophet Isaiah. On his way back from his recent visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh, the Pope could not keep back tears as he told of the heartbreak of seeing so many displaced people and being able to comfort so few. To console one another, writes a verse in Gospel 2017 that we are called to write.
Understandably, people can question why God is silent, when so much evil is thriving. God is not silent. He has spoken His Word and given to Jesus the task of winning our hearts, souls and minds. Not winning them for Himself alone but so that we will love and console brothers and sisters who are hurting beyond words.
Many are destitute, displaced and disheartened. Others are not poor, living at home but searching for hope. Consolation is needed there also.
At the dawn of Creation, God made man and woman in His image and likeness. At the Incarnation, God chose us to become world leaders in building His Kingdom of Truth, Justice and Peace. The Salvation of the world is in our hands because we are in the hands of God. At Bethlehem, He came and has not gone away, but lives in and among us to bring salvation to the world.
Our mission is God-given. It is His but ours by gift of grace. Prophets who will stand for and with Jesus as did the prophets of old, are as needed now as ever. John the Baptist’s work preparing the way of the Lord, must continue until the Lord comes again.