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!
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!
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.
“…with new eyes to see the dawn!”
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”!
Thanks Vinita! And the nice thing is, it just keeps coming!!!
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
You’re welcome Louisa…thanks goes to my pastor for giving a good homily!!!
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.
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.
Thanks for your kind words, Bernadette!
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.
“my soul is drifting like a star”…very poetic. Thanks.
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!
Anonymous, thanks for the kind words. Let’s not consider the song or ourselves old…let’s use the word “classic!” 🙂
“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!
Thanks Judi! You should be writing music reviews…you have a flare for it! 🙂
Yes, it is the Advent Adventure in Good Deeds.
Wanted to share the article but there are a lot of typographic errors, mostly at the end of the second paragraph.
Thanks for the heads-up, Tom. I’ll get those fixed.