Advent in Chicago

advent-in-chicagoRecently, I found myself in Chicago. December and the arctic winds have once again found their way to this part of the world. It’s the Season of Advent, the season that struggles to make an appearance since the Season of Christmas is clearly in the air! Our consumer culture draws us onto the bypass highway where we can arrive at our destination without ever setting foot in the mystery, the heart of this beautiful Advent Season. I’m guilty – I do like to fast forward! However, God is very skilled at hitting the pause button and drawing me into the mystery.

On a bitterly cold Wednesday night in the heart of Chicago, I discovered that Advent is about turning around! While being mesmerized by the beautiful scenes displayed in the windows of a large department store, I turned around to discover the homeless person hunkered down under a mound of blankets trying to find warmth sleeping on a street vent just 10 feet behind where I was standing. I can’t get that image out of my head! I’m not sure I should try to dispel this image. This is the heart of Advent! Taking time to turning around to see the homeless, the hungry, the sick, the abused, the lonely, the elderly, the immigrant, the refugee, the fractured corners of our world.

We need Advent, to open our eyes, to prepare our hearts to receive the light of Christ, so we might understand fully the mystery of Christmas! We need to turn around so we might become the light our world so desperately needs.

– Blog entry and photo by Sister Patty Kremer

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