I have been watching, with great excitement, since the middle of November, an amaryllis plant that was given to me that has two bulbs on it. For the longest time, I was beginning to think that the bulbs would never open. Actually, I thought that, although it looked healthy, it was never going to bloom and would simply die. Well, I am glad to announce that my patience has paid off. The bulbs, seemingly overnight, began to open up and a brilliant red color is beginning to peek through from those bulbs that I figured were a lost cause. Hopefully, by weeks’ end, they will be in full bloom. If you are a friend of mine on Face Book, please be sure to look as I will post a picture of the flowers once they are in full bloom.
During these dark days of late autumn, the last thing our minds think about is blooming plants. The leaves have all fallen from the trees; the grass has turned brown and the skies are consistently gray and gloomy. But behold, at 783 Dartmouth Street, new life teems as an amaryllis plant reminds me of hope and the hope that is our primary focus this Advent season. Of course, there is another type that our parish continues to experience and that is a growth in new parishioners who have decided to once again join us around the altar to celebrate the Eucharist. In the first reading we hear proclaimed this Second Sunday of Advent, we are reminded of the growth that takes place and the fact that God promises to dispel the darkness. “On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide, but he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.” (Is 11:1-4) The bud brings forth justice and lasting peace; the bud brings forth hope and new life. During Advent, we wait, joyfully, for the realization of justice, peace, hope and new life. As we continue to spread a message of “Welcome Home” to those who have left the practice of their faith for whatever reason, we fervently pray, “Come, Lord Jesus, come now, come quickly, do not delay!”