The First Sunday of Advent

« Now is the hour for you to awake from sleep …
the night is advanced the day is at hand. 
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armour of light»
(Romans 13, 11-12)

The liturgy of this first Sunday of Advent calls us to wait.  It is not a passive waiting but rather a prayerful, vigilant waiting.  It is attentiveness to the mystery that is within us, the mystery that is at the heart of the whole cosmos.  This is the time of Desire, the time of Love. 

« Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of man. » Luke 21,36


« The watcher gazes towards the horizon, towards the one who is to come… »

Lord, you invite us to keep watch, to be there…
To be there where life is…
To be there … in hope.
To be there… at the heart of the world.
To be there where a new world is being born
To be there, to be present physically, to be there with all our being.

To be there in order to hear the world’s heartbeat, the heartbeat of the infant God.
To hear the cries of our sisters and brothers in distress. 
To hear the cry of our wounded planet.
To hear the call to life … life in you.

To hear the cry of those who suffer in these sorrowful times…
To allow ourselves to be touched by suffering and to give birth to new life. 

To be watchers in the darkness of night…

To keep watch, wherever we are, in the ordinary everyday events of life.  It is there that you, Lord, seek us out and gradually transform us. 

To keep watch because we love.


« Life is not always the way we imagine it is!  It is standing upright when everyone else is sitting down in comfort.  It is to keep watch when our eyes are heavy with sleep; it is to keep our eyes open even when we would like close our eyes to the agony that threatens us; it is to hold onto love and not allow death to take possession of our hearts; it is to pray at all times so that we may escape from the tribulations that are to come. How? … By making sure that we do not try to escape from the One who is to come, the one who is overflowing with the love of God.   (Father Christian de Chergé (Tibhirine)

Not to escape from the One who comes … He comes, overflowing with the love of God, into a wounded world; it is only love that can give an answer to our quest for meaning.  And yet O Lord, you do not impose, you wait for us to be ready to receive you: “Behold I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear my voice and open the door, I will enter into your house”  (Revelation). 
You always seek our hospitality: “Remain in me as I remain in you”. 
Let us not reject this Love that comes to visit us!
Come O Lord! Show yourself to us! Lead us on the path of love! 
Help us to carve out a space for you in our full and busy lives. 
Free us from the shackles of fear and egoism.
Widen the space of our tent so as to make a place for you, to give birth to you who are all tenderness and love.


This is the attitude that expresses the dignity that Jesus gives back to us on becoming one of us. 
The attitude of those who keep vigil, their eyes turned towards the unexpected. 
The attitude of those who love and whose eyes are fixed on the Lord
The attitude of those who comfort their sisters and brothers.
The attitude of those who believe that God loves us and is always with us.  
The attitude of those who are raised with Christ.

During this time of Advent, we stand before the Lord.  We allow ourselves to be touched and transformed by the Lord.  Through us, God continues to liberate us from all that enslaves us, from all our sufferings and oppressions. 
« The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a just shoot; he shall do what is right and just in the land… and this is the name that will be given to him “The Lord our Justice” » (Jeremiah 33, 14-16)

Stand up, raise your head, be on your guard, be vigilant and pray!

« May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones »(1 Thessalonians 3,12-13)