2012 NASA Advent Project
The First Sunday of Advent
Unless a man has been shocked to his depths at himself and the things he is capable of, as well as at the failings of humanity as a whole, he cannot possibly understand the full import of Advent.
If the whole message of the coming of God, of the day of salvation, of approaching redemption, is to seem more than a divinely-inspired legend or a bit of poetic fiction two things must be accepted unreservedly.
First, that life is both powerless and futile in so far as by itself it has neither purpose nor fulfillment. It is powerless and futile within its own range of existence and also as a consequence of sin. To this must be added the rider that life clearly demands both purpose and fulfillment.
Secondly, it must be recognized that it is God’s alliance with man, his being on our side, ranging himself with us, that corrects this state of meaningless futility. It is necessary to be conscious of God’s decision to enlarge the boundaries of his own supreme existence by condescending to share our’s for the overcoming of sin.
It follows that life, fundamentally, is a continuous Advent; hunger and thirst and awareness of lack involve movement towards fulfillment. But this also means that in his [sic] progress towards fulfillment man [sic] is vulnerable; he is perpetually moving towards, and is capable of receiving, the ultimate revelation with all the pain inseparable from that achievement.- Fr. Alfred Delp SJ, “The Prison Meditations of Father Alfred Delp”, p.29. 1963 Herder and Herder New York