I went to church on Saturday evening in the hopes of a new beginning for Advent. As I tried to catch my breath at the insane pace of life I must admit I was hardly thinking of God. Suddenly I was drawn into alertness by a couple sitting in front of me. A woman with a most beautiful smile was gently trying to persuade the man with her to stay in the bench. The man was differently – aided in some way. Perhaps he had had a stroke. He walked haltingly and struggled to speak. He made it clear he did not want to be in church that evening. After giving me a smile the woman followed the man to the front of the church and helped him to walk back towards the door and out of the building. I was deeply touched by the woman’s gentle and tender manner. How much others have to deal with in the name of love and how little I sometimes notice . It was only the vigil Mass of the first day of Advent and already I had had an ‘epiphany’.  It seems that God is nudging me to look beyond myself. Hopefully we can all look ‘beyond’ and see those around us who have so much to deal with in life.

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