Our ministry of presence
The coming of Christ, as presented at the beginning of the new liturgical year, is a way of introducing His presence who has dwelt among us. Our Advent celebration is our liturgical response to renew our faith in these various levels of Christ’s presence in our lives. The season is about re-discovering Christ within ourselves. Advent is a time to be more aware of Christ’s presence in our search for healing and reconciliation in the midst of human brokenness and division.
The Advent season is a period of re-strengthening our belief in God’s becoming man. It is an opportunity to re-examine the far-reaching implications of the Mystery of Incarnation in our challenging journey towards Christian maturity.
Like the presence of Christ, our ministry of presence is far more precious than all the presents we can give those whom we claim to love and care. Our ministry of presence relates to our sense of hope for this life and life after. Our sense of hope, like the spirit of the Advent season, targets two aspects of our future: our future in the present life and our future in the life after this life. Our hope in our immediate future, that is, our future in this present world, can be made more significant in the context of our ultimate future, the future that awaits us at the end of our lives or at the end of time. Our personal hope in Someone beyond our world can impact our cares and concerns, making our efforts more significant.
Hope, like our celebration of the Advent season, is like a two-edged sword that cuts through the curtain of both time and eternity, giving us a vision that sees the temporal from the vantage point of the eternal. The stronger our hope, the wider it cuts through the curtain that conceals the mysteries of life, death and the afterlife.
When we always hope in God, always hopeful for the final moment, we find life as intense, loving, precious and meaningful. Hope makes us see ourselves as pilgrims, living a borrowed life on a borrowed time. Hope steers us to take the road less traveled by. Hope makes us dare to face the future with the confidence that God is with us today and until the end of time. Hope makes us say “I am here” when the call to the ministry of presence beckons us to God’s love and compassion.