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posted 3 Dec 2017, 09:08 by Our Lady of Fatima Church - White City London   [ updated 3 Dec 2017, 09:09 ]


Today we begin our Advent journey – a time of preparing for Christ’s coming. “Come, Lord Jesus” is our Advent prayer. Advent is a wake-up call, as we hear in today’s Gospel – “Stay Awake” – inviting us to shake out of our routine and staleness and to consider anew the great hope which our faith gives us. We believe that Christ will come again in glory to fulfil all of God’s promises and to complete his plan of salvation which was first revealed when Jesus came into the world as a tiny baby 2000 years ago. We also pray in Advent for the grace to be able to recognise how Christ comes into our lives today in so many different ways to comfort, challenge, strengthen and guide us.

At the end of our first reading there is a great image for how we are called to live during Advent (and indeed all our lives!). The prophet Isaiah writes: “Lord, you are our Father; we the clay, you the potter, we are all the work of your hand.”  Think about that image. If we are really to be clay in God’s hands then we need to be supple, moist and open to being formed in a new way. If we are hardened and fixed in our ways, then we cannot change, we cannot be transformed. God’s hands are gentle and merciful, yet powerful and strong and he wants to do something new in each one of us. He wants to come into our lives in a new way. So Advent is an invitation to us to be open to God, to change, to grow. God comes to us but we also need to come to him. When we do this, God can renew us, heal what is broken in us and make us whole again.

Of course Advent is a busy time, with so much to do in preparation for Christmas. But the most important preparation is spiritual preparation. Find a still, quiet time to read the beautiful Advent daily readings, try the daily Advent Challenge on our parish website, simply pray “Come, Lord Jesus” at the beginning and end of each day, come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation...     Do something new so that God can do something new in you!

With prayers and blessings, Fr Richard, Fr Ephrem and the parish team.