Pastor’s Corner for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year A, by Fr. Bruce Botha SJ



We stand before our Advent wreath and light the last candle. Each of our candles has represented a step on the journey we have made. The purpose of Advent was to prepare ourselves in some way for the celebration of the birth of our saviour. On the first Sunday of Advent, I extended to you three invitations: to reflection, to imitation and to conversion. I also made you a promise:


If you accept these invitations you will encounter the living God, the God who brought each of us into being and who carries us still in his heart. If you encounter the living God, you will fall madly, passionately in love with him. You will want to be with him, near him and like him. This falling in love will change your life in a deep and absolute way. The world as you know it will be totally changed.


So how has the journey been for you? I suspect that like all journeys it has had its up and downs, its successes, and failures. The thing about journeys is that they are not the destination, and the successes and failures along the way don’t define us. We learn valuable lessons from the highs and lows, lessons about our own weaknesses and strengths, and about God’s grace and love.


Think back over your journey and pick one thing that you are grateful for. Spend some time this week telling God about why you are grateful, and what this event, person or success means to you. Also think of one low or failure that you experienced. Talk to God about it, and why it has affected you so much. In your reflection do not be surprised if you encounter God rejoicing with you in your successes and supporting you in your failures.