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A Time of Expectant Hope!

Second Sunday of Advent
December 6, 2020

Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11;  2 Peter 3:8-14;  Mark 1:1-8

As I read Isaiah, “Comfort, give comfort to my people. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. A voice cries out: prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs carrying them in his bosom and leading the ewes with care,” I breathe a sigh of relief. A sense of calm settles in my soul. I am able to release the anxiousness of these past few months. I can’t help but think of warm memories of my mother embracing me close to her chest and telling me everything is going to be okay. This is what Advent hope looks like. The tenderness of God is in full display in this reading. God’s love and affection for us is described in beautiful imagery. God holding each of us close and telling us it is going to be okay.

In the Gospel, John the Baptist is that voice that cries out and prepares the way for the one who is to come, the one who is greater than he and will make all things new!

Prepare a place in your heart for God! Open that space for the miracle that is Christmas, God breaking into the World and the light shattering the darkness. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and made a dwelling among us, and we saw the glory full of grace and truth”. John 1:1,4 Advent prepares us to celebrate this wondrous miracle. And celebrate we must because we need to feel that presence of love, compassion, tenderness in our own hearts in order to be God’s presence to those most in need especially now with the pandemic, the division in our country, and the need to embrace all as our sisters and brothers!

Fr. Ron Rolheiser writes, “I’ve never been happy with some of my activist friends who send out Christmas cards with messages like: May the Peace of Christ Disturb You!  Can’t we have one day a year to be happy and celebrate without having our already unhappy selves shaken with more guilt? Isn’t Christmas a time when we can enjoy being children again? Moreover, as Karl Rahner once said, isn’t Christmas a time when God gives us permission to be happy? So why not?”

Let us pray and walk this time of Advent with peace and hope in our hearts. May we spend Christmas day, aware of our tender and loving God who breaks into our world and changes the trajectory of our lives. Our loving and tender God who holds us close and tells us everything will be okay. Let us prepare our hearts to absorb that miracle and sit in gratitude with joy in our hearts!

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