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posted 2 Dec 2018, 07:18 by Our Lady of Fatima Church - White City London


Today we begin our Advent journey, preparing to celebrate Christ’s birth into our world at Christmas. Advent is an annual wake-up call, (“Stay awake!” as we hear in the Gospel), inviting us to shake off our routine and weariness and to consider afresh the great hope which our faith gives us and the great love which God has for us. This First Sunday of Advent’s readings invite us to look forward to the time when Christ will come again in glory to fulfil all of God’s promises and to complete God’s 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 recognise how Christ comes into our lives/world today on so many different ways to comfort, strengthen and guide us.

Great, but if we are honest most of us would admit that we really struggle to make Advent a truly spiritual time of preparation (I think we find Lent much easier). Here in the parish, as in your busy lives, these four weeks before Christmas are packed with things to do and it is very easy for this quiet, reflective Advent journey to be forgotten. So I think we need to really make sure that we make a firm resolution to mark this holy season in some meaningful way, right now from day one. In your families you might simply have a special time every day to pray together as you open the next window on your Advent calendar. Or maybe you will find time to read the Word of God given to us for every day of Advent (we have lots of My Day by Day Advent booklets in the repository – only £1 each!). Or perhaps it will be through the time you give every day in caring for someone you know who is struggling at the moment – a relative or neighbour for whom you can be a living sign of Advent love and hope (you could also open an Advent calendar window with them every day and pray together!). Whatever you decide to do, ask God for the grace to keep going and be faithful right up until Christmas. When we give generously of ourselves – this is the best preparation for the gift of Christmas.

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