From Fr. Joel -
Advent is the season that seems to capture the space between waiting and coming. The refrain that Advent offers is one that the prophets, whose season Advent is par excellence, repeat over and over: “In the days to come…” What the prophet then speaks is a word about something marvelous, something just beyond what we believe can be but which deep down we know reflects a profound longing of the human spirit. But God says it can be and so hope surfaces again. The unbelievable that will be is a tree stump, a shoot, that will flourish again to blossom into a new king, a new leader for the people. It is a new age when weapons of war and destruction become farm tools that provide food for a famine plagued earth. It is a scene when God himself comes with his cloth to wipe away our tears in the face of death.
Yes, Advent is a time when we can join the prophets and indulge our imagination in all that we hope for our earth, its people and its future. We have had a true glimpse of what the future can be, of what is coming, in the Messiah we name Jesus. But we know only too well that the Messiah too must wait until time has run its course and we who live in time have drawn the lines in our hearts of what the new age will look like. Our Advent task is keeping the memory of the Messiah alive so that the light that dawned with him once keeps increasing till all is transformed into a world of unity and peace, the very things that keep our hearts awake and joyful as our God works everything for good.