Monday, November 30, 2009

The Decade from Hell-The Season of Hope

On the first Sunday of Advent, the gospel reading from Luke was very ominous. Here is the first part of it, Jesus said to his disciples, 'There will be signs in the sun, the moon and the stars and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.'
In an interesting article in Time Magazine that I read (part of) online, titled, The '00's: Goodbye (At Last) to the Decade from Hell by Andy Serwer, he wrote the following, ...Though the dreaded millenial meltdown never happened on Jan. 1st, 2000, instead it was the American dream that was about to dim. Bookended by 9/11 at the start and a financial wipeout at the end, the first 10 years of this century will very likely go down as the most dispiriting and disillusioning decade Americans have lived through in the post-World War II era. We're still weeks away from the end  of '09, but it's not too early to pass judgment. Call it the Decade from Hell, or the Reckoning, or the Decade of Broken Dreams, or the Lost Decade. Call it whatever  you want-just give thanks that it is nearly over. 
 I never thought about it until I read the Time article but perhaps looking ahead to the next decade with hope, isn't such a bad idea. Good riddance to the decade filled with so much loss, tragedy, disappointment and greed. 
Let's hope our redemption is at hand, as it stated in yesterday's gospel. Perhaps we've lived through the trial, that was the last decade and alluded to in the gospel.  
As Christians we always look to the future with hope. And it's Advent, the Season of Hope. The Season when we are able to celebrate the birth of our Savior and Lord. Pure joy!! I read these words spoken by Pope Benedict at the start of Advent, on Rocco Palmo's famous blog and I loved them so here they are....words of hope from Pope Benedict.......Jesus, "rock" like God, I like that.

“The contemporary world needs hope above all; this is true for developing peoples but especially for developed peoples.... With the collapse of so many false certainties, we are becoming especially aware of how we need reliable hope and that this is found only in Christ, who according to the Letter to the Hebrews Jesus “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (13:8). The Lord Jesus came in the past, comes in the present, and shall come in the future. He embraces all of time’s dimensions. Because he died and rose, he is the ‘Living’, and whilst he shared our human precariousness, he is always there, offering us God’s stability. He is “flesh” like us, and “rock” like God. Anyone who yearns for freedom, justice, and peace can stand erect and raise his head because in Christ redemption is at hand (cf Lk, 21:28).”