We enter a new liturgical year. We enter Advent. We are still in the Year of the Consecrated Life, which was inaugurated exactly a year ago.
Advent is a time of hope and expectation. It is a time to remember what the Lord did for us in His first coming, and a time to prepare ourselves in trust and gratitude for His coming again: His return in glory at the end of time and His coming in us and to us in every moment of our daily life.
To live the consecrated life is to live in hope and expectation, as a sign of what is to come, in confidence, trust and gratitude for all the Lord has done for us. We try to remain conscious of His presence in us, in every event, in every person we meet, and to act accordingly.
As John the Baptist, consecrated persons are called to point to Jesus and prepare His coming in the hearts of men and women. They are to follow the example of Mary, keeping the Word in their hearts and meditate on it. As in Mary, Christ must grow in them and so, they bring Him to the world. After the example of these two "Advent figures", we are invited to respond to God's call and take the place we are meant to have, do our part in God's work of salvation, to reunite all people with God, in God.
In this time of Advent, let us listen with the ear of our heart to what God calls us to be and do, let us thank God for our vocation and ask for the grace to respond generously and wholeheartedly. Let us continue to pray for new vocations to the consecrated life.