First Sunday of Advent (Year B)

[Excerpted from the November December 2017 issue of Emmanuel. Barbara Shanahan is an alumna of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. She has led the Buffalo, New York, Catholic Bible Studies Program since 1992.]

Soon we will welcome a New Year. We celebrate and mark the procession of time by making resolutions to help us live more fully and develop our human potential. This weekend, we enter the season of Advent and turn the page to begin a new liturgical year. This is no ordinary time, but the opportunity to look back over the past year and forward to the unwritten pages of the 365 days to come.

How will we experience God during this year? Sometimes, we may want to keep God in the background because his coming can surprise us, and surprises have a way of shaking up our world, rearranging the furniture of our lives. God’s coming can be like this.

The important question for us as people of faith is, are we willing to take the risk and welcome the coming of God? We daily pray, “Your kingdom come,” but do we really welcome this coming? Perhaps we have all lived long enough to know that when God comes and shakes our world, in hindsight we realize that, unwelcome as it was at the time, things worked out in amazing ways we could not have planned or foreseen. This requires a lot of faith from us!