There is a rhythm to our lives which is marked by those things that are repeated and those that are new. Both are important and both have a place in our lives. Repetition helps us to remain comfortable in being able to anticipate what’s coming next. The comfort of knowing that the sun comes up each morning, spring follows after winter; these cyclical realities of the world we live in help us to be comfortable in knowing the world we live in and how to live in it. The beauty of our world is that the repetition of things is designed by God in such a balanced way so as to allow for some newness to still exist even in those things that are cyclical. Each sunrise is similar but also different, each spring is similar but different, etc. When a musician performs the same song hundreds of times on different stages, there is something similar (he or she is singing the same song) but also something new about each performance (new stage, new audience, new interpretation). Repetition offers us comfort, and newness of each experience offers us excitement and prevents boredom. The same is true in our life of faith, we need both repetition and newness. We are about to start a new Liturgical Year with the season of Advent and Christmas. We’ve been through it before, we know what to expect. Hopefully that’s comforting to us. But we must also keep in mind that even though we have lived through many seasons of Advent and Christmas in our lives, we have not lived through Advent and Christmas of 2018 yet. There will be something familiar and something new about these. We may sing the same hymns as before, hug the same people as before, exchange presents with the same family members as before, but we will be experiencing these in a new way, in a present moment. What will your Advent and Christmas look like this year? Well, there will be something old and familiar, but also something new and fresh. We need both.
Fr. Wojtek Kuzma