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Wednesday, 08 December 2021 16:45

For an Advent without utopias

While the marketing strategies deployed for the much-needed restart of consumption are shining everywhere with the wishes for the "seasonal festivities", the Advent Calendar is also on offer with chocolates and other attractions for children and adults with nostalgia for their childhood.

In a world with few certainties, hopes for "recovery and resilience" are entrusted to the expertise of politicians, economists, scientists, and even more to the hard work of those who work or do voluntary work, i.e. the commitment of "families and businesses". But we seem to have to limit ourselves to more or less optimistic forecasts, continually grappling with the variations - health, geopolitical, ecological, financial - that put the budgets of families as well as states to the test.

So also Christian Advent - a liturgical time that retraces God's journey towards man, within history - seems to be emptied of the perception of an arrival ("Behold, he who takes upon himself the sin of the world", Jn 1:29), and also of the perception of an uninterrupted presence in our history ("I am with you always, until the fullness of time", Mt 28:20).

And yet, paradoxically, the improbable camouflages of this Advent, just as they reduce the alacrity of man's journey in search of God, can restore awareness of the initiative of God's journey in search of man, as the Jewish philosopher Abraham Heschel already pointed out.

Our questions, our expectations, our prayers, are nothing more than responses - mostly awkward and inadequate - to the One who comes to seek us out and to share our journey.

And the essential thing is not to find Him, but to let ourselves be found by Him. Catherine of Siena understood the paradox of a God who responds to the Christian's prayer - "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter in me" - with: "But I am worthy to enter in you!” (Legenda maior, 192).

“There are no easy answers to complex problems," recalled Pope Francis at the refugee reception centre in Mytilene, "instead, we need to accompany processes from within”.

God takes us seriously. And if we realise this, life changes.
Read 142 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 December 2021 16:48

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