First Sunday Of Advent, December 3, 2006

Jeremiah 33: 14-16

1 Thessalonians 3: 12 - 4:2

Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36

In his Spiritual Writings, Diadochus of Photicia defines patience as "Perseverance without flagging in seeing with the interior eyes the invisible as if it were visible." Patience is both confidence in God and perseverance in action. It is hope lived in daily life. It is what makes us work for the Kingdom day after day - without discouragement, without lassitude, without letting up. In the midst of daily trials, it is what keeps in our heart the promise of happiness of which Jeremiah speaks. If we let ourselves be tempted to discouragement when faced with our own weaknesses, those of others and the injustice that reigns in the world, his word calls us to resist our tendency to withdraw, to feel overwhelmed. Jeremiah calls us to oppose these feelings with the conviction that life and happiness are to come, in God. The Kingdom of God uses all occasions to come, suffering as well as success, easy situations and our hard work, as long as we entrust them to God with the invincible hope that God will make a new creation out of all the chaos and dispersion. Christ gathers up all our unfinished efforts -- to love, to struggle against injustice, to resist the counter forces that distract us and make us forget our personal responsibility for the coming of the Kingdom, that tempt us to give in to sadness and worry. Let us keep the "joie de vivre" and the desire for God that make all an occasion to encounter the God who gives Himself and transforms all. Stand up, lift up your eyes and keep your head high as the living for whom death is only a passage rather than the absurd end of a futile life. Christ brings salvation!

—Sr. Sophie Ramond, RA