Second Sunday in Advent
The readings of this week are deeply rich and moving. Almost every line is a proclamation of care, transformation, love, and an invitation to live the fullness of God’s vision now…right now! We need…the world needs…to drink in this message, to know that the Glory of God is alive and active and reaching out to us to ease the burdens of life, to create a Reign of God in our daily lives, and to empower us to build a community of creation in sync with the Creator’s vision.
In the busyness of life, we need to carry this message…but how do you hold onto two readings, a psalm, and a Gospel story? For me, the best way to carry the fruitfulness of the readings is to take one line and to pray it throughout the day. This way the message burrows deep into my spirit and makes its way into my thoughts and actions…the Living Word takes on new life in me!
Here are some “one-liners” to consider as your prayer for the day:
Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. What an incredible reminder, we are directed by God to bring comfort. Suffering is a reality we all experience. We create it our own lives, we create it in the lives of others, we create it for people and places we don’t even know. Mostly, we aren’t even aware that we create suffering. The power of this one line reorients us to the relationship God calls us to…that of comforter. If this is the line you carry with you from these readings, know that you are praying to heal the world of suffering and that you will be invited to put your prayer into action. What a beautiful gift to the world.
Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss. This is a vison for life that is so desperately needed today! Our way of relating in American society easily moves into coldness, harshness, and disregard for the value of each life. It is deeply disturbing to witness the anger and disregard that shows up on our television screens and in social media. It is not the whole story but it is the one that gets a huge amount of air time! This scripture quote is a reminder of how God wants us to act in the world. It is a call to live in awareness of others, especially those in poverty or those who suffer. It is a call to approach each person and situation with a mindset of right relationship, even when it calls us out of our comfort zone. It is a beautiful mantra that will give us new eyes and an open heart!
…he [Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. WOW! We have been given the gifts of the Holy Spirit! That’s right…the gifts that emboldened the early church, that have been the source of strength for those working for a just world for thousands of years, and that helps people make sense of their lives in joyous seasons and in painful ones…are active and alive in us! We are called to live the remarkable in the everyday and we do that by allowing the Holy Spirit to run wild and free in our thoughts, our words, and our actions. This Advent season is a season of promise...a promise that has already been fulfilled through the indwelling of the Holly Spirit in each one of us! Carry this reminder with you, let it flow through you and watch the miracle of love and tenderness come forth in you.
You are the living Word of God…. boldly embrace this wonderful truth…and prepare the way of the Lord!
Sister Didi Madden, O.P.