(“O” Antiphon for December 21)
It’s nearly the winter solstice; days continue to grow shorter and sometimes the nights seem endless. Perhaps it seems more so this year with the mayhem that an uncontrollable virus has wreaked on us. Not too often do we experience the utter powerlessness that comes when something outside our control so completely takes over how we live our lives on a day-to-day basis. Thankfully 2020 is nearly over and a vaccine has finally become an approved reality. Although it will take quite a while yet to get all those vaccinated who wish to be, there is a growing sense that there is an end in sight.
It seems a happy coincidence that our hope coincides with the Promise fulfilled in Christ’s birth and our celebration of that first Christmas. Now there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel that is not an oncoming train, but looks rather curiously like the radiant star of Bethlehem. The Word became incarnate to show us that God is intimately close to us as we live our lives in joy and sorrow, in good times and bad, in health and in the chaos of a worldwide pandemic. During these past months we have not only been “in this together,” but we have also not been alone. Our God of hope and compassion continues to be our companion, and in that strength we know that we can and will survive. We can continue lives of quarantine, isolation or protective, loving care of others for a few months longer.
As we journey through these next days of Advent and sing the “O” antiphons, as we wrap our gifts and sign our Christmas cards, as we bake the cookies and phone or video-chat with our friends and family, let us nurture hope in our hearts and pass it on like the flame of one candle lighting the wick of another until the whole world is once again bright.
— Blog entry and photo by Sister Joyce Lehman