Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
In spite of the Christmas rush and the hectic nature of the coming days, spiritually Advent is a time of stillness and calm as we prepare both, to commemorate the birth of our Saviour and to wait in expectation for his second coming. In a way, Advent encapsulates what life is all about – waiting to enter fully into the freedom of God’s Kingdom. It is not a passive waiting, though. Our preparation is always active, our lives turned towards God in prayer and in good works. Through our just and compassionate deeds we share the hope we have within us with those who may be struggling, lonely, questioning or despairing. Our actions must show the hope we have in order that others may experience and share in the light of Christ.
The daily reflections which are offered here are meant to help us to achieve an internal calm while the hustle and bustle continues all around us, and to centre our lives on the child Jesus who came to us as the way of restoring the beauty, goodness and life of creation. It can be difficult to keep ourselves focussed on the spiritual and true meaning of Christmas. It is so easy to be caught up in the materialism and “hype” of Christmas. The daily reflections help us to remain faithful, and I suggest you decide on a particular time that you can set aside for these daily reflections – you may find early morning or sometime in the evening to be the best time for you. Stick with it and, should you miss it, make sure you “catch up” as soon as is possible. As we begin this season of Advent, let us pray the following Advent prayer each day.
With prayerful blessings to you and your families
Archbishop of Cape Town
God of love, your Son Jesus is your greatest gift to us. During these weeks of Advent help us to prepare for his coming through watchful waiting. Remove everything in our hearts that is an obstacle to us receiving Christ, and make us eager to welcome his coming with joy and thanksgiving. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.