Beautiful Saints planted by grace in this community, peace be with you.  Today we begin our liturgical year with the Season of Advent. It was Pope Gregory 1 (590 -604) who settled the Season as four Sundays prior to Christmas, with a very clear emphasis on the Christian hope of the Coming of Christ. Bernard of Clairvaux (d 1153) summarises the theology of the Season of Advent as the three comings of Christ, past, present and future. In the first Christ was our redemption, in the last he will appear as our life; in this middle coming, he is our rest and our consolation. It has also been suggested that one cannot fully understand Jesus’s birth without first understanding that he is Saviour and Lord.   Our first 2 Sundays of Advent focus us on the second coming of Jesus as our hope, and in the prophecies of the First Covenant. This Advent coincides with the 16 Days of Activism saying NO to women and child abuse, as well as World Aids Day on 1 December. May it be a time of deep reflection for each of us, on the claims that Christ has upon our lives and particularly His concern for our relationships with others. We have placed at the church a ‘graffiti board’ where each person can make a pledge or commitment in response to these two significant times of prayer for the most vulnerable in our society. As we enter this time of hopeful expectation, may it also be a time of finding rest and consolation from a year filled with uncertainty. Please continue to pray for me and be assured that I am praying for you. 

With love and light for your week ahead.