On this first Monday in Advent, let me share a reflection written by Jack Treloar, S.J., one of the Jesuits on staff at the Oshkosh Jesuit Retreat House. He writes:
There is a great temptation abroad. Perhaps one can summarize it as the invitation to weariness. We certainly have many things around us that encourage us to feel drained. The fight against COVID has been exhausting and quarreling about vaccination adds to the trial of the disease itself. Politicians cannot decide anything, and in their disagreement, they have forgotten about the healthy give and take of compromise. The list of wearying topics is endless.
Amid all our fatigue, we move into the Season of Advent, a season of consolation. We must realize that Jesus came to a world filled with weariness; but he came to bring good news. God has not forgotten us. Gerard Manley Hopkins recalls God’s care in his poem, God’s Grandeur. He says, “The world’s charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out like shining from shook foil.” Hopkins reminds us that even in dark and wearisome times God’s grandeur is present if we only look around. As winter approaches can we see the beauty of snow and ice? Can we anticipate the arrival of one who saves us? Can we give of ourselves to those in need? Whether it’s snow and ice, or the arrival of the Savior, in our care for others God’s grandeur confronts our weariness letting us know that he cherishes us and even sends us a savior.
Advent is a season of hope! Let’s live into that hope in the midst of the things that threaten to drag us down.