This is the last day of our Advent musings, the last day of our preparations for Christmas. Very shortly we will be celebrating the birth of our Lord and holding on to the many promises He has yet to fulfil. Paul talks about the three great virtues of the Christian faith in 1 Cor 13: faith, hope and love. All three are desperately needed nowadays as always and all three can be found in Jesus Christ.

Alfred Delp wrote, ‘Advent is the time of promise; it is not yet the time of fulfilment. We are still in the midst of everything and in the logical inexorability and relentlessness of destiny.’ We look ahead to Christmas, and from that fulfilment, we look ahead still further, to the return to Jesus Christ. When we started the period of Advent, Christmas seemed a long way off; now it is almost within touching distance. In the same way, there is much that lies ahead for us in God which seems a long way off, but the hope we have fuels us in the long wait. As Paul says, ‘hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.’ (Rom 8:24-25)