Wow, we’re in the last week of the year. I always like the readings for the ending of the church year… our sights set on finishing the race…being ready…. the Lord is coming… the great feast of Christ The King.
There was a beautiful reading from St. Columban today, an Irish saint born around 543. (On a side note it mentioned that Columbine was “handsome and strong and needed to fend off the advances of young women…having to flee to a monastery”… hmmm, those Irish….) Anyway, St. Columban said:
“ Pilgrims let us continuously sigh for and long for our homeland…filled with hope and desire for the road’s end… let us think upon the end of the road, our home. Many lose their true home because they have greater love for the road that leads them there….let us not love the road rather than our home. Let us keep to the principle that we should live as travelers and pilgrims on the road, as guests of the world, free of lusts and earthly desires… and ‘let my soul thirst for the mighty and living God…when shall I come and appear before the face of God’ (Ps. 42:2-3).”
That’s a great reminder to “ love our eternal home, not the road that we travel to get to that home”. It’s easy to be distracted by the things of this world …. our job and career, health, our earthly security, plans for the coming weeks and years, my “bucket list”, …. they are important, but in the final analysis, they belong to the “road” and not to our destination, our eternal home.
Well, “New Year’s Eve” is this Saturday, and Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent…the first day of the new year. I guess we should wish each other “Happy New Year” on Sunday. Advent is a beautiful season as we prepare for Christmas. It’s a season of hope and anticipation. I love the “Advent Lights” that begin to show up in the neighborhoods, cities and towns; they miraculously turn into “Christmas Lights” on Christmas eve.
In this time in our country when hope seems to be waning with the covid virus, political unrest, fear of the future…, we really need HOPE. True hope can only be found in Christ. He is the one who conquered fear and despair and sickness and death and sin…the ultimate cause of all our problems.
So, as we get ready to begin this new year, let’s place our hope in the Lord. He is the answer to all our problems. May the joy of the Lord be our strength as we enter the Advent season. Remember to smile… give each other a greeting (at the proper distance…) And remember, let’s keep our focus on our home and not on the road.