Running to Christ

We have four whole weeks of the Advent season this year. Here in Canterbury, it is four weeks of festive lights and music and the endless playing of Christmas songs such as “Do they know it’s Christmas?”, “All I want for Christmas is you” or “Last Christmas”, as we walk around the Christmas Market searching for the ideal present.

Some of us will be furiously writing Christmas cards hoping they will arrive despite the industrial action of the postal workers. Some of us might have decided this year not to write any cards but give the money we save to charity. It is no good fighting the commercial side of things unless you decide to become a hermit and mutter “humbug.”

It is against this background that the liturgy of the Advent season gives us the opportunity to reflect and pray. This year, most of the Gospel readings at Mass, will be taken from the Gospel of St Matthew and this Sunday we have Jesus speaking about the future and the end of time.

He is asking us to be ready. “Stay awake, because you do not know the day when your Master is coming…you must stay ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” These words are complimented by what St Paul writes; “The night is almost over, it will be daylight soon – let us give up the things we prefer to do under cover of the dark”.

Is there anything in our life that we don’t want others to know about? Perhaps there are thoughts or actions that make us ashamed of ourselves. We need to shake off the darkness that can envelop us if we are not careful. We need to put on the armour of light. Saint Paul says; “Let your armour be the Lord Jesus Christ.”

In the opening prayer of Mass. this Sunday, we hear about us “running to Christ.” Give us the resolve to run to Christ. During these days of Advent may the Spirit help us to turn to the light and embrace the light. Christ is our light that banishes the darkness that can easily envelop us. In these days of Advent may the spirit help us to come to Christ who wants to embrace us in love, who wants us to experience his love. His love heals and restores us. This Advent may the Spirit help us to run to Christ who is our life. Jesus says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Jesus you are my light my love and my life.

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest