In Faithful Solidarity

Mon, 12/07/2015

Starting last night at sundown, our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate Chanukah, the eight-day festival of light that celebrates the miracle of one day’s worth of oil that burned for eight days after the Maccabees reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem from the Greeks. The candles of the menorah symbolize this miraculous triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, of spirituality over materiality.  A specially made menorah has been placed in the corner of Monroe Quad near Bobet Hall in observance of Chanukah this year.

Most Christian denominations continue to celebrate the Advent season which began the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Lasting four weeks until Christmas Eve, Advent is a special time of spiritual preparation and joyful anticipation for the coming of the Messiah – both a recognition of Jesus’ birth and eventual Second Coming.  This prayerful time of joy, hope, peace and forgiveness is symbolized by a wreath and four candles.  Again this year, four large Advent candles have been placed near Bobet Hall in the Peace Quad.

In front of the advent candles on display this year, Honors Program students constructed a peace tower in light of recent terrorist attacks and violence around the world. The structure serves as a physical metaphor and reminder of our ability to inspire and create peace in our world. It is a sign that we celebrate Advent and Chanukah this year within a very real context of darkness, violence and sin.  The same light, peace and joy we pray will enter our hearts especially during Advent and Chanukah, is the same light, peace and joy we pray will enter into our broken world.                

May all of us at Loyola who seek to know and serve God better support one another on our spiritual journeys.  May our diversity of opinion and worship strengthen the educational and spiritual growth of this learning community which strives to celebrate God’s amazing and varied presence in all of creation.  May we all continue to work for peace, love and joy by sharing the light of God in our lives.

For more information about Advent: 
http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/advent/

For more information about Chanukah: 
http://www.chabad.org/holidays/chanukah/article_cdo/aid/102911/jewish/What-Is-Hanukkah.htm