To you, my God, I lift my soul…
And so started our first Sunday of Advent with the Entrance Antiphon, a portion of which is above. I would best explain an Antiphon, besides being a funny word, as a short-cut to the theme of the mass celebration. It helps set the tone for the Readings that will follow.
Now I would like to recount how my Sunday mass experience was so blessed and holy that my soul lifted immediately up to the heavens (cue to play that heavenly music) … but, i can’t. What stuck for me? “Dare to Hope.” Those were the words I heard from the celebrant’s lips and those are the words I bring with me into the month of December.
The subject of Hope is appropriate, this being the first week and we light the purple candle symbolizing hope. We are schooled in that we are preparing for the second coming of Christ and we focus on it particularly these first three weeks of the Advent Season. But to Dare, hmmmm, now that is where it gets interesting because that sounds like a challenge. Someone is asking if I am made of the stuff that has the guts to strip away the layers of hurt, the cynicism, the fear, the passive apathy and expose a heart that is naked and vulnerable. Can I make that choice, to Dare to Hope? And can I bring it out into the World?
In case you were wondering, Esperanza is the Spanish form of the Latin sperare “to hope.” Hope you enjoy the video by Esperanza Spalding.