Facing Doubt and Despair at Advent

Faith Formation

From the Pastoral Team

From Our Director of Religious Education

Advent is the season of hope, peace, joy, and love. But what if during this period of waiting and preparing, doubt and despair get the best of us?

I’ve read the Gospel of Matthew many times, but this was the first time that I reflected a bit more on John the Baptist. Last Sunday we heard his words, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” John spoke with conviction and confidence. So sure that the Messiah was coming. But in today’s Gospel, he seems to have lost hope, perhaps for obvious reasons. Despair seems like a justifiable attitude for someone locked in a cell awaiting his death.

At this point, John was questioning if Jesus was indeed the one he had been waiting for; that mighty King in whom he had placed all of his hope. But what was Jesus’ response to John’s messengers? “Tell him what you have heard and seen.”

(En Español)

John the Baptist, the greatest of all prophets, the one that leaped with joy in his mother’s womb when he recognized God was before him, was great because he preceded Jesus Christ. He proclaimed that Jesus IS here!

We are all experiencing this Advent- the coming of the Lord- according to our own circumstances. Where do we find our spirits? Like John in the desert? Hopeful and waiting for the arrival of our King? Or has life been hard, and we’ve been blinded by the walls of our own personal prison cell? Or are we like the child John, full of joy at recognizing that the Lord is here?

Let us take a moment to look at our lives, what do we see? What do we hear? I’m confident, that even in the difficult moments of our lives, we can see that God’s hand is always at work.

Through our baptism, we are anointed as prophets. Like John, we are called to be messengers of God, proclaiming to the world that our King indeed is at hand, for He is already doing great things in our lives!

If our eyes and ears are open, we will stand firm in hope, peace, joy and love, not just this Advent season, but in every season of our lives, because we know that Jesus is always near.

Peace, Sandra Dominguez

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