On the first day of December we usher in a new liturgical year. Former Master of the Order, Timothy Radcliffe OP reflects:
The whole liturgical year forms us to be a people with the courage to wait until the Lord comes. Advent trains us in the patience not to begin celebrating too early, resisting the temptation to celebrate Christ’s birth before he comes… Christ is a gift and one respects the gift by waiting for the moment when it is given.
The Latin word for ‘to wait’ – attendere – means to stretch oneself forward; we are attentive, opening ourselves to what will come.
During Advent, we are like people gathered around the bed, we await the birth. But God’s coming was not just the birth of a child; it was the coming of a word… though it needed thousands of years before there was a language in which God’s word could be spoken in the form of Jesus.