First Sunday of Advent 2021


Advent: A Time of Surprises

Lk. 21:25-28, 34-36

Advent should help us become more aware that what counts in life is an attitude of openness and availability to realities much vaster than we are, so that the life within us–like a mustard seed–can develop more and more and accomplish its work of purification and liberation. But this requires silence, a willingness to halt our activities, let go and allow the Spirit within us to explode.

In order to reach this point, we must live in emptiness, which is not simply the absence of something. Instead, it is pure energy, full of possibilities. It means realizing that we are transformed by the Spirit of God, who calls us to love and to realize our human potentials to the full. Advent is like opening the door of our inner world so that our expectations can be shattered and the unimaginable can finally touch us.

The life that is reborn in the womb of Advent should make us continually receptive to the Mystery of God and therefore to the coming of the unimaginable because, as Jacques Derrida said, “Only the unimaginable is real.” If we are waiting only for what is possible, we will be visited by repetition, by the obvious and by, in the last analysis, a world of illusions.

Advent is therefore a time of surprises, of wonder. No surprises await us in the realm of the possible. In contrast, the womb of wonder is filled with things we dared not hope for.

This was the experience of Mary, the woman who awaited what was already given, already known: “How is this possible since I have no relations with a man?”

Like Mary, we must remain in attentive, listening silence, in order to convert our hearts and be receptive to the unimaginable. And in doing so we will be overwhelmed with wonder, realizing that the Spirit has pervaded our inmost being, enabling us to give birth.


Taken from the Homilies of Fr. Paolo Scquizzato