Photograph by Dylan Arnold,
Photographed in 2017,
Taken with Canon EOS 6D, 24-105mm, 20secs at f/11, ISO 100,
© Dylan Arnold Photography

Photograph by Dylan Arnold,
Photographed in 2017,
Taken with Canon EOS 6D, 24-105mm, 20secs at f/11, ISO 100,
© Dylan Arnold Photography

Gospel of 28 November 2021

First Sunday of Advent

Luke 21:25-28,34-36

Jesus said to his disciples: 'There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves; men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation is near at hand.

'Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.'

Reflection on the Photograph

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. It is a time for looking back, in order to look forward. We celebrate the birth of Christ our Lord two thousand years ago, but we also live in expectation of His Second Coming. So Advent and Christmas are not just celebrations of things past and gone, but it are a preparation for what is to come.

Over the next weeks, the nights are getting longer, darkness sets in, but in our cities and streets, Christmas lights will be switched on. Candles will be lit. We mustn't be tempted to fast-forward to the party, the light of Christ on December 25th. Maybe this year let us be quiet in the darkness during Advent and truly prepare. Advent tells us that the world lay in darkness before the Light of the World was born. Even the Liturgy of the four weeks to come is slightly stripped back. We don't sing the 'Gloria in Excelsis Deo' which will return to the Mass on Christmas Eve, as it comes from Luke Chapter 2, when the angels declare to the shepherds that the Messiah is born. 

Our artwork today is a light painting. It is a photography genre that has been growing over the past years, with cameras becoming increasingly more advanced in being able to shoot at night. The photographer artists move vivid streaks of light set against pitch-black environments to create unusual, unpredictable effects when the shutter of the camera is held open for a long time. Our photograph here had an open shutter for more than 20 seconds. These long exposure works turn the light sources brought into the darkness into beautifully crafted works. 

The Advent wreath will be lit, one candle a week. Light will gradually enter our churches and homes… all of us looking eagerly for the adventus or 'arrival' of the Light of Christ. 

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