November 26, 2016

An Advent Message from the Dean

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

Each new Church Year begins with the four weeks of Advent – a time of preparation for the Feast of Incarnation – the birth of Jesus the Christ.

During that time, we pray that God will “give us grace to cast away the works of darkness” as we “put on the armor of light.” To some this year may seem to have special shades or threats of darkness. But every year we ask for that armor of light – wherever that darkness may or may not be felt around the world.

The world has always been threatened by hatred, evil and violence. Perhaps so much so, that we forget that our preparation speaks directly to the challenge each of us faces to believe anew that we can do something to usher in light.

By the Grace of God, we can connect to the generations that have reached for the Light, as kindred spirits, emboldened to drive out the darkness and hate.

That relationship can elevate us to new levels of connection, and move us beyond our individual fears into global citizenship. Later in Advent (the Third Sunday), we will pray that God will “stir up” the Divine Power and, with “great might come among us…because we are sorely hindered by our sins” and want to be delivered from them. Advent culminates with us praying that our consciences will be purified by God’s “daily visitation” – not just once a year – so that when Jesus comes we will be “mansions prepared” for Him.

Such efforts can truly be radiant. And to those of us who have been in darkness, we know not only how welcome but also how powerful the light is.

Blessings and the grace of this holy season are extended to you from this great Cathedral.