Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent

November 27, 2011

by Sister Maria D., Program Director, Cranaleith Spiritual Center

O Wisdom, flowing song of the Holy One,  You move the universe with sure, sweet love.  Come, allure us on the way of truth.

Make us turn to You.  Let us see your face, and we shall be saved.

The late Eastern theologian Raimon Panikkar says with utter simplicity, “Worship is above all, truthfulness.”  Advent woos us into darkness, the place where our deepest truth sings.  It turns us toward the face of One Who stirs in our depths and yearns over our deep-shadowed world.

One day a few weeks ago, a young man we had first met here at Cranaleith some 12 years ago, stood gazing at the garden tended by the homeless community throughout the summer.  He had been clearing the brush and debris from the site to prepare it for the life to come.  He paused for the longest time midstream in his work, and when asked what he was doing, he replied, “I’m taking a picture to show my grandmom what I did.  I’m really proud of it.”

Shakim had come to us as a young man, already seared by violence and abandonment. Since then, he had been incarcerated three times.  His recovery is fragile, and his struggle, constant.  The face of Shakim’s grandmother, shining with pride and tenderness unconditionally, mirrors the wisdom of his own being…that  mercy dawns through the darkness with unrelenting love.  In his grandmother’s face, he finds hope that “the favors of God are not exhausted.  Each morning they are renewed, so great is God’s faithfulness.” (Lam 2)

As I embrace my own truth this Advent, I draw hope in the wisdom of such faces, turning me toward the Mercy that has claimed me.  I pray that the compassion we offer one another may sing God’s healing promise to our heartbroken time.

During the month of November, on our Facebook page we reflected about what gives us hope in preparation for the hopeful season of Advent and shared images there that inspire us. With Advent now upon us, please join us each week to reflect on the hope we have and all that is to come in our world. We invite you to view our images of hope on Facebook

Read reflections for the Second, Third, and Fourth Sundays of Advent.

(En español)


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  1. Renee Y.

    So beautiful, Maria. Thank you for sharing your holy spirit. Renee

  2. Pingback: Reflection for Second Sunday of Advent « Connect With Mercy: The Official Blog of the Sisters of Mercy.


  3. Carolyn McWatters

    This is characteristically lovely, Maria..so poetic. I can hear your quiet sincerity and the depth out of which you speak. Thank you, and Advent blessings!

    Carolyn McWatters, RSM

  4. Pingback: Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent « Connect With Mercy: The Official Blog of the Sisters of Mercy.

  5. Pingback: Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent « Connect With Mercy: The Official Blog of the Sisters of Mercy.