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Month of December

'God has no need of your money, but the poor have. You give it to the poor, and God receives it’
Saint Augustine

Month of December

Month of Decmber

There are few things that can really change our life: some people spend the week-ends hoping to win a lot of money in the Lottery, but that doesn’t always seem to make people happier. The things that change our life for the better, the things that can even change who we are, are things like falling in love and getting married, or having a child or hearing the call of a vocation. These are the things that bring a joy and hope into our life that little else can. It is these same things that are powerful enough to change how we look on life and understand life and give us a new purpose in life. In Advent the Church begins the season by reminding us of the return of Christ in glory. It can be a frightening thought, a warning shot across our bows as can be the call to repentance, to look again at our life and examine its direction. Death, the final judgement, heaven and hell these are powerful enough events to influence our actions and sometimes we need that, we need the reminder that there are consequences to our actions, but the season of Advent is not about the darkness and the gloom of winter, it is not about the threat of something unwanted hanging over us, it is about the excitement of the birth of a baby that will change our lives and change our world, just as his return in glory will mark the complete fulfilment of the salvation we still long for. It is about seeing the reality of the darkness that surrounds us and lifting our head as we see the light dawning on the horizon. Repentance for us who believe in Christ, can no longer be just about acknowledging our sin and doing penance, it must also be about a life lived rejoicing all the while in the mercy of God who sends us hope and the promise of a new beginning in the birth of Christ. Sometimes because of life, it can be hard for us to see that joy and the reality of the hope. We are more like John the Baptist languishing in the darkness and feeling imprisoned by life and crying out to God questioning what we have believed and hoped in. Then too Advent must be a time for us to look around and see the goodness of God present and active in world and in the lives of people around us, so that we can recover our own experience of the goodness of God in our life and trust once again in his promises. It must have those times of quiet and prayer for us to understand the presence of God with us, to hear again his words as John heard them in prison and as Joseph heard them in the midst of his confusion so that with them even though we may still live in a land of shadow we can walk in trust and with confidence towards the source of the dawning light.