As I was preparing my reflection on this Sunday readings, I came across this wonderful reflection from Julie Kalkowsky, so I want to share it with you all: Today’s readings seem made to order for the tumultuous times we are living through. From the opening line of the Prophet Isaiah: Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.” to the Psalm: “Kindness and truth shall meet…” and finally, to the Gospel with John proclaiming: “One mightier than I is coming after me.”
All the readings seem to be specifically crafted to address the reality of our world today. These readings can assist us as we are preparing our hearts to welcome Jesus into our world. If the events in our world are causing you grief and anxiety, read and reread the opening lines from Isaiah about comfort. So many of us need comfort right now with the pandemic worsening; fear about losing homes through foreclosures or evictions; and people refusing to accept the outcome of the election.
These are chaotic, uncertain times and I know the only true north in my life is the peace that comes from God. What do I need to do to stay grounded in God so that I can give comfort to others and not add to their unease and worries?
In the gospel, Mark describes how people from “the whole of Judean countryside and…. Jerusalem” were traveling to have John baptize them “as they acknowledged their sins.” What are my sins that I need to acknowledge during this Advent season? What barriers do I need to dismantle so I can prepare my heart for Jesus’? What is preventing me from becoming someone who can “organize a world according to God’s heart”?
Lastly, and this is for all of us who are over-achievers and overly responsible, think back to what John the Baptist said in today’s Gospel. John was very clear about what his role was: “I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” John was preparing the world for Jesus, our Redeemer. Instead of capitalizing on his newfound ‘fame’, John humbly continued to fulfill the mission given to him. John helps me realize that I don’t have to do everything, I just need to do my part. Spending time with God will clarify my ‘role’ in these troubled times.
I hope you can take comfort from today’s readings. Sit with them and let them speak to you. Maybe you’ll find that during this Advent season, we can all move towards becoming “…the new human being society needs.” And a quote from the first and only saint from my country: “The Christian knows that Christ has been working in humanity for twenty centuries and that the person that is converted to Christ is the new human being that society needs to organize a world according to God’s heart.” – St. Oscar Romero.
Blessings, Fr. Oscar.
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