This Advent, our faithful supporter, Fr Raymond McCullagh, reminds us of our call to bear the light of Christ.
“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9:2)
At this time of year I’m reminded of a beautiful tradition in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth where I studied for the priesthood.
On the eve of the first Sunday of Advent the College Choir got up early, about 4am, and quietly passed through the corridors chanting an ancient antiphon: Jerusalem, Jerusalem, convert to the Lord your God.
When the other staff and students heard the singing they would rise from their sleep and light a small candle at their window, a symbol of their Advent promise to receive Christ, the Light of the World.
In little over an hour the whole College was transformed from complete darkness into a sea of small lights, each symbolic of a new Church year and the coming of the Christ Child, God’s light.
We are called to be bearers of that divine light, challenged by the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness!
In a very real way Habitat for Humanity is shining God’s light in a world darkened by homelessness.
This summer our Living Youth team worked in the slums of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
We met Herat whose house had just been renovated by Habitat. When asked what her new home meant to her and her children she said: It is a Resurrection!
What an act of faith, reminding us that the Christ Child of Bethlehem came to bring us eternal life and light.
May Habitat continue to reflect God’s light, helping those who walk in darkness to find their true home. This Advent may Christ’s light shine to fill our nights and days. May others see the deeds we do and give our Father praise.
Make a special Christmas gift to help families in urgent need of a safe place to call home.
Read more Advent Reflections here.