Advent Reflections by Priests of the Diocese of Portland

For Christians, Advent is meant to be a time of reflection and prayerful preparation for the coming of the Lord. As we celebrate the season, some priests from our diocese share some thoughts on the season.

Father Philip Clement
Pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes Parish in Oquossoc

During Advent, we remember Jesus’ first coming, being born and laid in a manger in a stable in Bethlehem. More importantly, however, during Advent we focus on his second coming, when he will come in all His glory to judge the living and the dead. This world as we know it will pass away in order that He might establish an everlasting kingdom in Heaven. Today [December 3], we light the first candle of the Advent Wreath which represents the gift of hope. Jesus promised us that He would never leave us alone and that He would return one day to deliver the righteous from sin. The anticipation of his second coming gives us hope that the darkness that exists in this world will not prevail. The first lighting of the Advent wreath reminds us of this hope so that when we are feeling downcast, we can look to Jesus, the Light of the World, to raise us from our fallen state. How thankful we should be for the gift of hope in Jesus. May our lives and our choices reflect this gratitude, and may Our Lord take pleasure in us as we take pleasure in him.

Father Kyle Doustou
Pastor of Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord in Old Town

As people of faith…our holidays and holy days are not simply about the celebration of temporal realties but, rather, our participation in eternal mysteries. This means that we enter into these celebrations primarily with faith, which has the power to transform our whole experience of this life, both the good and the bad. Christmas for example, is not simply about celebrating beautiful but rather abstract notions of peace and goodwill but, rather, that the very peace and goodness of God has become incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ and that he has come to us in our bleak midwinter, in the frosty throes of a silent night, to make his dwelling among us. Our celebration then is less about superficially “holly and jolly,” but becoming truly joyful in the face of God’s all-pervading love for us and becoming signposts of this love, even in the midst of our sufferings and struggles. [Read the reflection.]

Father Wilfred Labbe
Pastor of St. Matthew Parish in Limerick and St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish in Sanford

Just when the secular world is shouting that now is the time to get busy, we followers of Jesus Christ are being reminded that our preparation for the Christmas season is not a time for busyness and completion of tasks. Instead, we encounter the whispered invitation to come out into the desert to encounter the holy, the extraordinary, and to prepare our hearts, minds, and souls to celebrate the beginning of our salvation. [Read the reflection.]

Father Robert Lupo
Pastor of Our Lady of the Snows in Dexter and St. Agnes in Pittsfield

Happy Advent!! Once more we begin a new Liturgical year with this wonderful season...I pray for all of us that we may enter this season of preparation and expectation with open hearts. Christ’s admonition to ‘watch’ can seem a bit paradoxical. He isn’t suggesting that we all become contemplatives and spend our lives in constant prayer, awaiting his coming again, but we must try and master the paradox of being watchful and vigiilant in the midst of our lives. To bring another Gospel story to mind, we must do our best to be Martha and Mary all rolled into one. [Read the reflection.]