Advent: what does it mean? I make a click and I find one of the many definitions: arrival, coming (already announced). In the Christian tradition, it is the time of four weeks that prepares for Christmas, that is, it evokes, through readings and liturgies, the announcement and the waiting for a saviour. But what does all this have to say to us in the time we live? Certainly our greatest expectation seems to be that the virus will be defeated and we can go back to living as before. But perhaps this time has much more to transmit to us; perhaps it can take us to new horizons. In what way?
One day a person tells me that he feels a bit compressed, because he is used to living life as if he were in a moving car. Now we have to park, get out and try to make those usual routes on foot. You can observe so many things when doing small steps. What a different immersion in reality, which you can finally notice, without running through it. Landscapes; people; different routes; the existence of the poor around us…
This is what Advent opens us up to this year! Taking advantage of this forced slowdown, to give space to what we are living with haste and almost without value any more: time to observe; time to reflect; time for a conversation without a watch in hand; time to give. And, why not, time for a simple daily prayer in which to tell the Lord what I have lived through the day; what the expectations and desires of the heart were today. Perhaps no different from the characters I will find, taking the daily readings of Advent time.
Let us not waste these weeks! Let us not make them just an antechamber of Christmas, but an opportunity to let today’s time speak and to remind ourselves that ours is the God with us.
2020-11-29 Fr. Agostino Caletti