Father Joseph M. Corley

This Advent I find myself waiting to celebrate the beauty, joy, hope and wonder that comes with every Christmas chance to renew my trust in God who became a human being in Jesus Christ, born of Mother Mary.

As I wait, I pray for the renewal of heart and soul. As I wait I ask for patience and love in my relationships. As I wait, I seek the grace to forgive old injuries and to grow in virtue. As I wait, I prepare for the opportunity to be free of past failures and future anxiety. As I wait, I look for the light of peace, kindness and honesty in myself and others.

With the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Darby, I wait in joyful hope.

I know what I want for Christmas! I want to receive and share the grace of reconciliation. I want the courage of John the Baptist. I want the destiny of the Magi, the dreams of St. Joseph, the excitement of the shepherds and the Spirit that overshadowed Mary. I want the beatitudes to be my declaration of dependence upon God.

I want the wisdom to honor: the sacrifice of parents; the fortitude of the widow; the innocence of children; the courage of the elderly; the restlessness of teens; the inner strength of those who are single; the hope of the engaged; the recovery of the addicted; the fidelity of the married; the gentleness of religious and priests; the love of the care-giver; the generosity of the volunteer; and the dedication of teachers.

This Advent my eyes search one again — like the first time my mother took me to see the nativity scene in St. William’s Church in 1950 — for the baby Jesus who is the light and hope of the world.

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Father Joseph Corley is pastor of Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Darby.