Please share what you remember about Advent this past year when Christ entered your life like a newborn baby. Of course, I know Christ is in us daily. But, there are some moments when Christ manifested the Glory of the Lord so that you could get a job, experience healing, or a word to keep on fighting. These are "Advent Moments," we have during the year. Remember, Advent can happen at any time of the day.
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Current Study - The Prophet Isaiah in Advent
Dates: Monday Evenings, Beginning November 28
Starting times. 7:30 pm EST.
Ending times 8:30 pm EST.
Virtual online study.
In reflection, I remember prying to God about my journey. I did not know where I would be going in regards to finding a new house of worship. But I was open to where God would lead me and the spiritual growth that lay ahead. As I discussed with the group last week, I felt resolved in facing a long time enemy. From Psalm 23:5 "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." From this week's reading from Howard Thurman, "I make an act of love toward friend and foe, Where trust is weak and hate burns bright."
Advent for me was a time of waiting. No matter material or spiritual. As I age I find Advent and lent is a time of new beginnings.
Although my wife Jean died in 2019, I cannot help but remember when we shared our dreams and expectations about serving Jesus and his people here at Resurrection of Our Lord Catholic Church, here in Savannah, Ga.
I remember how she encouraged me to start preaching my sermon(s) without reading from a prepared paper. She told me that people, especially the African-American community, like it when a preacher preaches while making eye contact with his audience.
Upon her advice, I started preaching without using any type of "paperwork". When I did, I received a lot of positive feedback from the parishioners. With her help, I not only became a better preacher; but a better spiritually-minded person as well.
Because of her pushing me to be a better version of myself, as a doer of the Word of God, I was able to facilitate 2 preaching revivals for Black Catholic History, in November; 2022.
By going "with and through" the healing process of her death, I've found myself more focused on proclaiming the Gospel message(s) Jesus has proclaimed to us all during His ministry here on earth.
As I reflect and remember about Advent this past year, I can't help but remember there was a cloud of sadness surrounding me. My mother died on November 15th and I struggled with realizing the "coming of Christ" as a newborn. She wasn't here to celebrate with us and it was all a blur. But thinking back on it now, every time I went to church during Advent, I always thought of her and how her presence at Mass, in the same pew up front, brought back beautiful memories. I know the discussion on the zoom was about how we are continually giving our children parental direction, and I realized that the parental direction that my mother gave me is what's making it possible for me to carry her legacy forward. The readings from Isaiah stirred up a song in my spirt, "Take me Back, to the place where I first received You, Take me back, take me back dear Lord, where I first believed" My "Advent Moments" happened for me every time I was reminded by others of the kindness and goodness my mother shared with them. This post helped me to realize this.