Some people have told me recently that they have given up watching the news. It’s all too gloomy, it should be called “The Bad News”. Watching the ‘Bad News’ every day can generate despair and depression. This sense of misery is heightened at this time of year when to all the bad world news is added the carnage on our roads during the festive season. Let’s watch sport instead –even though sports news is unfortunately not exempt from its share of grief.
Christian hope stands firmly against the tide of despair. Rooted in faith and informed by love, Christian hope looks steadily at a greater horizon, a horizon whose name is God. Christian hope anticipates the full future of God’s final kingdom and the liberating resurrection of all creation. Christian hope believes that everyone and everything can be redeemed –in Jesus the Messiah.
Christian hope takes on a special tone in Advent. In Advent the Christian looks more specifically at the coming of Christ in glory. Often referred to as the “Second Coming”, Christians in Advent make ready to present to the Lord of Glory a world of justice, love and peace. Hence Advent hope is not an escape from daily dullness, but a powerful incentive to prepare a world where truth and beauty and grace are more pervasive than their opposites.
Perhaps this Advent we can hope for those who have no hope, for those whose hope is wavering and for those who are trying to share their hope.
Our Advent hope can bring light and joy to those who ‘labour and are heavily burdened’. The grace of Advent is available to those who want it. If we watch the News with Advent hope, we will begin to discern rays of hope in many dismal stories.
Fr Sean Wales, C.Ss.R.