Donal Neary SJ, editor of The Sacred Heart Messenger and well-known author, presents the first in a series of seasonal Messenger booklets.
The scripture of Advent is one of the most enriching series of readings in the Church’s year. The Old (Hebrew) Testament presents some of the best known and favourite texts of the prophets, especially from the Isaiah tradition. The gospel links the life and work of Jesus with the Old Testament reading. These short reflections on both readings of the daily Liturgy explore this link in a deep and relevant way with some of the big themes and words of Advent: waiting, expectation, hope, joy, forgiveness, compassion, fulfilment. Many of the reflections present a simple hint or encouragement of how to live our Christian calling in Advent as we prepare for the birth of Christ.
In the busy-ness of the season this booklet can open the meaning of God’s love, which is the primary message of Christmas: that ‘God so loved the world as to send his only Son to save the world’. Advent encourages us to wonder and be amazed at the way God did this and continues to do so in his people today.
The Messenger Advent Booklet opens us to find the meaning of Christmas in the secular as well as the more religious and spiritual celebrations of the feast. It is best used a day at a time, in a prayerful mood. A prayer to start and finish the reflection is also included.