My Advent Reflection in Newport

This evening, at five o’clock, we had a lovely hour of music and reflection for Advent in the local pub. Siobhan sang and played the harp, and Eamonn played the flute. Margaret read some poetry. Dispite the bad weather a large group turned up.

I did three periods of reflection.

The first one was very much an Advent theme;  patient waiting; trying to get in tune with the rhythms of life and nature, and so to become aware that the best and most wonderful things in life cannot be rushed or grasped at. Like the child growing in the womb of Mary, we must learn to wait patiently.

My second reflection was on God. With the advances in our knowledge of the universe – both its incredible expanse and wonderfully complex miniatures, we are better able than any generation that has gone before us, to appreciate the wonder and mystery of it all, and the fact that creation is not a historical event, but an ever present reality. If we can be open to the wonder of it all, we will begin to recognize the presence of the Divine, in even the smallest flower. All parts of creation are manifestations of the glory of God.  So, God is not the distant figure in the sky that we were taught in the past;  rather God, or The Divine, is in and around everything.

My third reflection was on the prophet of our time, Pope Francis. The four great themes of his preaching:.  Love, Mercy, Hope and Joy.

I summed up with the great quote from John’s Gospel, which I suggested makes more sense, and carries greater power, if we think of God in the way I suggest, – a presence within us, around us, closer than we can imagine:  GOD IS LOVE, AND WHEREEVER THERE IS LOVE, GOD IS PRESENT.

The evening finished with Siobhan’s mother, Nuala, joining Eamonn and Siobhan to sing Whispering Hope.  It was a perfect end to the evening.