Thursday, December 3, 2020 . . . An Advent of Hope

“Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.” – Luke 2:8


In 2020 it’s helpful for me to remember that all of us human beings have been living with our pandemic, COVID-19. For this I am truly grateful. It is a great leveling. In every land on this earth, the reality of our mortality has taken center stage. For me this has been a very humbling experience.

In March 2020 when it became clear to me that our viral reality wasn’t “going away” anytime soon, I decided to read one of the gigantic novels by Charles Dickens that have been languishing on my bookshelf: “Great Expectations.” Happily, I was completely unfamiliar with the story. Unhappily I wrestled for months with the trials and tribulations of “Pip” until at last I finished page 500 of the book and… the pandemic was still here. And so was I.

Turning my heart and mind toward Advent now is a great relief. We enjoy keeping watch over our little flock of two dogs (Lily is new to us, Benji is the “old guard”); as they keep watch over us. We await the coming of Christ the King with joyful anticipation. “Let every heart prepare Him room.”

Prayer for Advent Hope (Joyce Rupp, O.S.M.): Gracious God, help us to look with the hopeful eyes of Christ on one person or situation that causes us distress. Amen.

Fr. Joseph J., TOCCUSA, UMC Santa Cruz, California

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