Ahead of the beginning of Advent on Sunday, Archbishop Eamon Martin has encouraged people to ‘share hope’ this Advent season.
The Primate of All Ireland has renewed his call for everyone across the island to turn towards hope, and away from despair, saying, “the season of Advent offers us a new beginning and a promise of hope for better times. The First Sunday of Advent is actually the Christian Church’s New Year’s Day. In 2020 – perhaps this year more than ever – we need ideas and inspiration to help us delve deeper during our hours of isolation and restriction, to find that glimmer of light, that note of joy, that promise of consolation. Our 2020 digital calendar provides helpful resources during our Advent journey.
“Since the outbreak of the pandemic the people of Ireland have endured testing times with courage, resilience, and compassion. Individuals and communities have made great sacrifices for the protection of life, health, and for the common good. Many Christians have been reaching out in generous service and support for their neighbors, the lonely, the isolated, the sick, and the bereaved. Faith, love, and hope – within the home and in Church – have been a huge support during these difficult times. As we continue, in solidarity, to progress together, I invite everyone to be part of #SharingHope this Advent season by availing of the helpful resources on our calendar and by sharing these on social media.
“The seasons of Advent and Christmas occur in the depth of winter reminding us that Christ was born to bring hope to a darkened world. As the prophet Isaiah said, ‘the people that wait in darkness see a great light’. During Advent, let us reflect on the eternal message of Christmas, which is, Christ is alive and that He is our hope.”
Encouraging the faithful to engage with this year’s Advent calendar, Archbishop Eamon said, “While it is has been a very trying year for all us due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the season of Advent offers a new beginning and a promise of hope for better times. Each day in Advent, behind a virtual door on our calendar, we will offer ideas to help spiritually prepare for our Lord’s coming at Christmas, such as thoughtful reflections as well as challenges for change and conversion. In our preparation for the His coming, we stay alert for the unexpected moment when the Lord comes to us in other people, in our daily experiences, including his presence in the sick, the poor and the stranger.”
Archbishop Eamon concluded, “From Sunday, until Christmas, let us take just five minutes each day for reflection to find moments of peace so as to rediscover the true meaning of Advent and thereby spiritually grow throughout this season.”
See catholicbishops.ie for digital Advent calendar #SharingHope #LivingAdvent