Advent and Christmas a Time to Come Near the Lord

Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC

Shepherds adore web bannerAdvent and Christmas is the time of coming near to the Lord, and even more so, it is preparing the way for the coming of Christ at Christmas. Advent is the time of “Expectation,” and waiting is part and parcel of our lives in every sphere of our existence. This expectation turns into joy and throbbing hope for those we love very much! Today we have an unclear vision and a sliver of hope due to individualism in the apostolate and difficulties of living in fraternal communion. Henceforth, we need to rediscover the journey of faith to shed an ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ. Don Guanella would recommend this, “Confusion and torment will one day strike the apostates of faith and morals. So let us deepen our contemplation of the mystery of the Incarnation, by making more space in our personal and community life, through silence and prayer!

Christmas is the time of restoration:

Let us focus on the priceless value of the spirituality of communion, give due importance to fraternal correction and strengthen more and more the “bond of charity” that is so dear to our Founder. “It is the cement that keeps us all united.”

There are three symbols which could be taken for our reflection:

The Star: That announced the birth of our Savior and which was a sign of joy, comfort, happiness and fulfillment. For all the broken and hopeless persons and those who work for the least and who wait for the harmonious living of humanity, Christmas is a time of new horizons of hope!

The Manger: Beth-lehem, commonly translated as house of Bread, is the place of life. Jesus is the bread that came down from heaven so that we may have life in abundance and that we may have harmonious fellowship with God and one another. For the Guanellians, there can be no better time to celebrate our Charism and mission, since Christmas is the time to renew our commitment towards the “little ones,” the underprivileged, to give them life and accept them in the tent of charity by providing “Bread and the Lord.”

The Shepherds visit to the infant Jesus: the shepherds were the first evangelists who brought the good news of the angels. And they returned glorifying and praising God for all they heard and saw. The shepherds belonged to the lowest strata of society and God’s salvation was first made known to them. Even today, the infant Jesus wrapped in bands of cloth, is incarnate in the poor and voiceless. Let us take the disposition of Mary and be humble enough to realize God’s purpose in and through them.

This Year of Faith will be a propitious occasion for us “to encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”

A grace filled Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior