To all the brothers and sisters of the Oases – Realities of
Koinonia John the Baptist
Christ is risen!
“If we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.”
Dearest sister, dearest brother,
Advent is the time dedicated to waiting for the birth of Jesus. Christmas is an event that really happened, just over two thousand years ago, in a remote corner of the Roman Empire and in the midst of a small nation with a very ancient history: Israel. This people, more than any other, teaches us the importance of time and consequently, of waiting.
The prophetic Word that came from the heart of the Lord must be received and treasured over time, and just like the seed in the earth, once dead – that is, when it seems that nothing is happening – we witness the birth of a new plant, so also the prophetic word passes through a “dead end” in which it seems to be empty and sterile. A dead end that lasted centuries for the people of Israel.
The time between the promise and its fulfilment is therefore characterised by unconditional trust in the One who made the promise. We have the clearest example in our father Abraham, who knew what he was leaving behind, but did not know what awaited him and, day by day, he allowed himself to be guided and motivated by the voice of the Lord, precisely because “he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and maker is God.” (Heb. 11:10)
Dear friends, in this phase of gestation, we are purified of our desire to take the Lord’s place and implementing our projects according to our way of seeing and interpreting reality. This also happened to Abraham, when he agreed to his wife Sarah’s proposal to have a child by her slave.
Indeed, it is precisely at this time that we look for alternatives to the Lord’s action through answers and solutions to problems that are “still unresolved”, accompanied by prejudices, discontent and gossip: attitudes contrary to the spirit of communion.
Therefore I encourage you not to evade this time of waiting but rather to live it to the full in communion with the Lord and with each other. Live it with renewed enthusiasm, knowing that the Jesus remains faithful and will accomplish, despite our shortcomings, what He calls in the prophecy of Camparmò: “My glorious work”.
Only when we remain united and perseverant are we able to recognise His presence and His work in us and among us. May Jesus not have to say to us also, as he said to the holy city of Jerusalem: “If this day you only knew what makes for peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes (…) because you did not recognise the time of your visitation.” (Lk. 19:42.44)
This Christmas, as we live in communion with a renewed climate of synodality with the universal Church, may the Lord visit us and give us new energy in evangelisation, new vocations, a step further in the field of formation and of community structuring, and may He especially renew our friendships and our family relationships.
With trust that Jesus may surprise us again with His birth, I wish you every blessing for a serene time of expectation and a prosperous Christmas.
Even Sapir, 25th November 2021
Fr. Giuseppe De Nardi