An Advent Devotional, by Fr. James Wilcox
Advent offers a time special to all people. We all have an inner longing. Whether we are Catholic, Jewish, Agnostic, Muslim, or Protestant, we all experience the inner longing for that which no greater can be envisaged. Taking time to consider and ponder on God and the magnificence of His grace and peace means we must cease being absorbed by “doing” and allow our souls to enter into the peaceful anticipation of the Advent.
This peace is the gift of God given through Jesus Christ. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you (Jn 14:27). It is a peace given to all people, and a reminder that we are designed to live in community. The peace of Jesus Christ offers the grace necessary for us to carry forth our call to love those in our community, regardless of their state in life.
When we live out our commitment to justice through peace and mercy for people of every nationality and culture, of believers and non-believers, we fulfill the love of Jesus Christ by creating community when we come to meet. Inspired by a common desire to live in peace, including a supernatural peace of heart, Advent calls all people to a unity in the grace of the anticipation.
The anticipation is for the Christ child and the peace His presence brings to hearts. Peace is perhaps one of the most beautiful names we can use for God. When we sing His name, we sing with glory, praise, energy, and peace.
Let us therefore continue our Advent journey, hearing the voice of John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness and allowing our hearts to be reawakened with the expectation of God-who-comes, the peace of the Child, and the hope that His Name will be hallowed.
Let us pray:
Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a wonder at the wisdom and power of Your Father and ours. Receive my prayer as part of my service of the Lord who enlists me in God’s own work for justice.
Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a hunger for peace: peace in the world, peace in my home, peace in myself.
Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a joy responsive to the Father’s joy. I seek His will so I can serve with gladness, singing and love.
Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me the joy and love and peace it is right to bring to the manger of my Lord. Raise in me, too, sober reverence for the God who acted there, hearty gratitude for the life begun there, and spirited resolution to serve the Father and Son.
I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, whose advent I hail. Amen.