Advent hope

By: Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD - @inquirerdotnet - Columnist/Philippine Daily Inquirer | November 27,2022 - 09:09 AM

The story is told about a camp commander who caught a guard seated, sleeping with his head bowed while on duty. He shouted at him with a loud voice, whereupon the soldier let out a loud “Amen!” pretending that he was praying, not sleeping.

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Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the new liturgical year. Happy New Year! And Happy preparation for Christmas, the birthday of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That’s what Advent is all about.

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In today’s Gospel (Mt. 24: 37-44), Jesus tells us to stay awake and be prepared, “for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” We do not know on which day our Lord will come. Maybe this year, maybe next year? Maybe today, maybe soon? Scary? Yes. But precisely, this is what our Lord tells us today, to be prepared every day, and to be filled with hope rather than fear.

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We light today the first candle in our advent wreath — HOPE! In this world so full of sin and fragile peace, we dare to hope and believe in goodness and in the victory of the light over the darkness of sin. Keep hoping. BTS! Believe, trust, surrender!

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We take courage to hope for God’s presence amidst the noise and the haste. Let our constant prayer be: Lord, you are here, no matter what, no matter where. Yes, You are with us always and in all ways! Especially this Advent season, let us find time, make time to come before God’s presence, and seek His face.

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We take courage to hope for God’s peace, amidst divisions, violence, and wars. Let’s not give up on peace in our hearts, in our homes, in our communities, in our country, and in the world. Let us continue to work for peace, and to be at the service of the Prince of peace.

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We take courage to hope for God’s promise that He will not abandon us, and that He has plans for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Hold on to God’s promise. God is true and constant, ever faithful to His promise.

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Let us be whisperers of hope. Let us continue to point to the Lord, and be heralds of hope. Let us not be prophets of gloom and doom. Rather, let us be the light to the world and the salt of the earth.

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Let us be kind to each other’s hope and cherish each other’s dreams. Let us not be hope-killers and dream-breakers!

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Christmas is in the air, but do you feel the Christmas spirit yet? Advent precisely reminds us to make the Christmas spirit happen, and it starts within. May we open our hearts to the spirit of advent, the joyful expectation and heartfelt preparation for the birthday of Jesus. May we be more prayerful, more caring, more loving. Sana all!

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At whatever age, at whatever life season, may we always have the Advent mindset, that joyful expectation and grateful preparation to meet the Lord, someday soon. Let us continue to refocus on the Lord as we journey on, confident that He is with us, and that something good is going to happen up ahead, and yes, to believe that the best is yet to come. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived the beauty that God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

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Think and pray about this: “The pain that you have been feeling can’t compare to the joy that’s coming” (Romans 8:18).

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A moment with our Lord: Lord, help us to keep hoping, and not to give up on hope itself. Amen.

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Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/159076/advent-hope#ixzz7lnaLDxmT
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TAGS: Advent, Advent season, amen, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Christmas, hope, peace, Prince of peace, whisperers of hope

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