Yesterday, we entered into the Third Week of Advent and today Middlesex-London moved to the red-control level under Ontario’s COVID-19 guidelines. I would like to share a reflection by Fr. Jim in this weekend’s Cathedral Bulletin that addresses both.
“The colour zone we find ourselves in is an important reference point. However, more important is the fact we each are doing all we can and all we are being asked to do to keep each other safe during this critical time. Washing our hands, keeping our distance, wearing a mask along with really considering safe plans for the Christmas season will go a long way to getting us though this period. We’ve come this far – let’s not mess it up. . .
As Advent reminds us, we cannot linger or hesitate. Each one of us every week, after celebrating the Eucharist and/or spending time in quiet prayer, has to return to our respective field of work and do our best in order to allow God to transform the world through us.
In one of last week’s Mass readings the prophet Isaiah offered us hope during Advent as we heard the promise that our God will lead us out of any misery. The journey may be long – it may often seem to be one step forward and two steps back - but with God on our side we will not give up nor will we collapse along the way. We can bring support and comfort to others by staying focused as we share the true meaning of this season and our faith with those nearest to us and with others we meet on the way God has opened up for us. How? We do it when we pause in situations we encounter and speak/act differently than we might be tempted to at first – by speaking comfort, reassurance and affirmation to young and old, rich and poor, the joyful and sorrowing, the broken and lonely. Treating each other respectfully will see our voices and gentle words reduce fear and anxiety. We are also called to look at ourselves and grow in our faith, making changes in our lives where necessary. This happens when resentments and biases are cut out – when impatience diminishes, when pride is swallowed, when we refrain from demanding our own rights all the time, when we let go of some of our self-imposed importance. What we have the chance to learn during Advent will carry over to Christmas and beyond.
We eventually come to realize… we are not alone, we are unconditionally loved, we are always offered mercy, we can find and provide for others comfort and rest, someone always accompanies us in our suffering, and we are invited into a relationship with the source of hope and joy.”
Fr. Jim Mockler
Rector, St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica
Board Chaplain, LDCSB