Advent: Love is Coming!

Back in the day, 1970 to be exact, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young released a song titled Carry On. In the refrain they sang, Carry on. Love is coming. Love is coming to us all.

I thought of this song this past Sunday while at Mass for the First Sunday of Advent. No, my mind wasn t drifting! Actually, quite the reverse. The pastor was delivering a splendid homily about the Gospel’s call for us to remain awake because the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. He related a story about a friend whose home was broken into and how the friend’s reaction was twofold. First came theif only’s if only we had locked the back door, if only I had not left my purse out in the open, and so on. Second, however, came the thank God comments: thank God no one was hurt, thank God nothing more was stolen, and so on.

His point was that it is this attitude of gratitude that enables us to carry on in the midst of challenges. The Season of Advent is an opportunity for us to focus on what we are thankful for, especially knowing that more good things are coming. With Christmas, we celebrate the coming of Love in the Person of Jesus Christ. He finished his homily by pausing and then saying, in a dramatic and exuberant voice: Love is coming!

At that moment, I fully expected the church organist to break into a rendition of Carry On! Of course, it was not to be. However, the message was very well taken. Advent is a time of joyful anticipation. It is a time of longing for something good that we know is coming. It is not at all like the waiting we experience while at the airport or in the doctor’s office. The waiting we experience during Advent is not fearful or despairing. It is confident. Why? Because love is coming!

Knowing that love is coming is what enables us to carry on each and every day, despite the darkness that surrounds us.

So, this Advent, let’s carry on. Love is coming. Love is coming to us all!


To journey with us in the Online Advent Experience, visit dotMagis tomorrow or the calendar on LoyolaPress.com.

About Joe Paprocki 2312 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

31 Comments on Advent: Love is Coming!

  1. Joe, thanks so much for this blog. I’m in my fourth year of professional ministry (2 yrs training w a DRE and now am a youth minister) and I really enjoy all of your posts, ideas, and webinars. I love how you tie everyday objects, songs, etc into catechesis! I pray you have a peaceful Advent!

    • Rebecca, thanks so much for your kind words and feedback. You sound like a very busy and dedicated person…keep up the great work!

  2. Thanks for this great message, Joe. There are some songs you get in your head that can drive you nuts. But I’m glad you’ve firmly planted the sweet harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in my head today and I hope to hear that refrain all during Advent. Love is coming. Now I’m ready to carry on.

    Tom

  3. Great post, Joe! I’m going to say to myself, through the next 10 days (while I’m finishing a harrowing semester) that “love is coming”!

  4. I will carry with me today ” Love is coming”
    “The Season of Advent is an opportunity for us to focus on what is to be thankful for.”

    Thank you so much

  5. Hi Joe,
    I have been reading your posts for awhile and really enjoying them.
    Today’s post made me look up the song and listen to it and found that is a familiar one that I like very much. Normally I do not always understand the lyrics, so I look it up and as I read it found that the second paragraph is very fitting for the third week: “The sky is clearing and the night has cried enough. The sun [Son], he come, the world so soften up. Rejoice, rejoice, we have no choice but to carry on.” I like to use songs that are popular to use as reflection tools, this is a great one for Advent. It is the seasson of Hope and Love is coming! Thank you for that!

    • Hi Maria and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m sure that Stephen Stills did not have Advent in mind when he wrote this song 🙂 but I think that with the eyes (and ears!) of faith, we can find that music speaks to us of God’s Word.

  6. Earlier in the year I wrote that my dear spouse had died. How I have dreaded the first year of holidays without him. After a tearful week of anticipating Thanksgiving, we did manage it with a quiet home celebration. Ah, but Christmas!!! Even though I know we will miss my husband/father, I welcomed Advent with the joy I always feel when this new church year calls us to await the coming of Christ. My home is decorated because “Love IS coming.” Our chief, artistic decorator is not on this earth, yet his legacy of preparing for Christmas inspired me to do the job this year.It may not be as lovely as other years, but it had to be done to wait in hope and peace for the coming.

    • Helen, this is very inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and I pray that you continue to find healing and transformation as you “carry on”, integrating grief with hope and peace. Blessings!

    • The first Christmas after a loved one is gone is always hard. But God’s grace is sufficient. May God bless you with his peace in a special way this Advent/Christmas.

  7. Yes, Love is coming, my soul is drifting like a star waiting for my love. To love and be loved is to answer God”s call. Thank you Brother Joe, for the the wonderful message of Love. Lisa.

  8. This comment came via email from Dena:

    Joe –

    I like how you link secular songs to sacred lessons. I plan to use the song “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story in tonight’s lesson for Advent. It’s an “oldie but goodie.”

    Blessings,
    Dena

  9. Dena couldn’t resist sharing the lyrics of the West Side Story song!

    Could be!
    Who knows?
    There’s something due any day;
    I will know right away,
    Soon as it shows.
    It may come cannonballing down through the sky,
    Gleam in its eye,
    Bright as a rose!

    Who knows?
    It’s only just out of reach,
    Down the block, on a beach,
    Under a tree.
    I got a feeling there’s a miracle due,
    Gonna come true,
    Coming to me!

    Could it be? Yes, it could.
    Something’s coming, something good,
    If I can wait!
    Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is,
    But it is
    Gonna be great!

    With a click, with a shock,
    Phone’ll jingle, door’ll knock,
    Open the latch!
    Something’s coming, don’t know when, but it’s soon;
    Catch the moon,
    One-handed catch!

    Around the corner,
    Or whistling down the river,
    Come on, deliver
    To me!
    Will it be? Yes, it will.
    Maybe just by holding still,
    It’ll be there!

    Come on, something, come on in, don’t be shy,
    Meet a guy,
    Pull up a chair!
    The air is humming,
    And something great is coming!
    Who knows?
    It’s only just out of reach,
    Down the block, on a beach,
    Maybe tonight . . .

  10. This comment came via email from Dusty:

    Dear Joe,
    In an effort to give my 6th grade Faith Formation class lots of information on Advent, I referred back to your ideas from last year.
    I see by your note today that you too dressed the table in your prayer space. I played O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and we processed around the room and each child placed an item on the table. This really helped give them a true understanding of Advent. I also read them the “Advent Adventure on Good Deeds,” and that too was a big hit.
    Thank you so much for all your ideas and passing on ideas you get.
    You have helped me out numerous times.
    God Bless,
    Dusty Maiolo
    Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Church
    Lagrangeville New York

  11. Hi Joe, I am trying to put together a lesson about advent for my class. I always end up using a lot of what you post here. I will be sure to remember to mention to them that “Love is coming, to us all”. I remember that song…I guess that means I am getting old. I am so thankful I found your blog!!! Have a blessed Advent season!

  12. “Love is coming!”
    A great message — and then, Dena’s reminder about “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story. As I scanned through the words, I could hear in my head the pulsing beat and the urgency of Bernstein’s music, with the element of joyous anticipation underscoring it all. What a perfect Advent song — not a dirge from “mournful exile” but a wildly excited and joyful looking ahead.

    It won’t make it liturgically, but a great mood-setter and discussion-starter with your learners!

    Judi

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