December 14, 2017
Dear Members of the Boston College Community:
On December 3, Boston College began its annual celebration of the liturgical season of Advent, which in the Christian tradition is a time to prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas and anticipate his future return in glory. These weeks of preparation and anticipation also resonate for others seeking purpose and meaning in their lives. Advent is an opportunity for all to reflect and to be renewed in faith, hope, joy, and sense of community in the midst of a world so often torn by conflict and disagreement over a range of political, social, and religious issues. We human beings know too well that the demands, complexities, and turmoil of contemporary society can strain, even diminish, our willingness and ability to foster a culture of care and respect, engage in fruitful dialogue, and love God and neighbor, essential elements in Boston College’s Jesuit, Catholic heritage, and so much needed today.
I believe it is appropriate during Advent to review our lives as well as our relationship with God in terms of call and promise. Various prayers and Scripture chosen for Mass during December urge participants to consider their beliefs and attitudes, and they also affirm God’s commitment to be present and offer guidance, inspiration, and forgiveness to his people. For example,
“They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
“Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.” (Mark 13:33)
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4)
The season of Advent invites us to be especially attentive to our hearts and to recognizing God’s presence in our lives. Such effort will enhance our ability to remain a community seeking to give and receive from one another and to advance the mission of Boston College, particularly its intellectual, religious, social, and formation goals. As we move through Advent to Christmas and beyond, I pray that our hearts be filled with a patient and joyful hope and that we stand as beacons of light and faith in our world, living proof that God is with us.
William P. Leahy, S.J.