December 9, 2022

Reflection / Viola Maria Miller

Lighting the way to a gift of hope

Viola Maria MillerAdvent is a time for waiting on the Messiah. Adventus in Latin means “coming.”

So, I pray, “Christ is coming, Christ is coming, Christ is coming for me!”

Pray it from the rooftops. Oh, how lovely!

Christians are preparing for a coming, an arrival, that we can never truly be ready for. However, he takes us from wherever we are.

We lit a purple candle, called the Prophet’s candle, on the first Sunday of Advent. Think of Joseph and Mary’s donkey as it travelled with them to Bethlehem. So trusting. Think of the purity, devotion and courage of Joseph and Mary. They were carrying the most beautiful and breathtaking gift on Earth with them. Against all dangers and obstacles, they travelled. They carried it for the Father. They carried it for you and me. This first purple candle of Advent, represents “hope.”

The second Sunday of Advent, the purple Bethlehem candle is lit. This candle represents great faith and love. In our Christian walk, we have reached Bethlehem with the donkey and Joseph and Mary.

The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday. In Latin, “gaudete” means “rejoice!” A rose candle is lit, representing spiritual joy. All Christians should be joyful with the shepherds hearing the good news of the Savior’s birth from the angel of the Lord—this day in David’s town.

The fourth Sunday of Advent also features purple as we still prepare our hearts for Christ. This candle is the Angel’s candle. The angels are singing praises to God and offering humankind peace. In the Gospel of Luke, the angels sing, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on Earth to those with whom he is pleased!” (Lk 2:14). The message’s meaning is to walk with God in grace to receive the peace blessing!

So Christians, further hear these lovely words by Charles Wesley, because they sum up the heart of Advent. “Come, thou long-expected Jesus … joy of every longing heart.” Christians, do you feel the longing? Do you realize that Jesus was brought to Earth for you? So, a question—are you here for him?

What can you do? Be a witness for Christ everywhere and in everything. Be not ashamed! Do more for your brothers and sisters on the Earth; for your family; for your Church. Yes, do more for your Jesus, the love of your life! In the end, every Christian must decide their “gift” for Christ. It must come from your own heart!

(Viola Maria Miller is a member of St. Joseph Parish in Shelbyville.)

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