Reflection for the Second Week of Advent
But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse.
The Isaiah reading for the Second Week of Advent inspires us to reflect upon the root of our lineage and the connectedness we have with all humanity. Our root is our Creator God who births all humanity into the family of God. This birthright impels us to open our hearts to those we label as stranger, enemy, or different from ourselves. In reality these people are related to us and are part of who we are.
The Prophet challenges us to be attentive to both the qualities of the wolf and the lamb that reside within us. As wolves are we willing to quell the violent, oppressive and exclusive tendencies that exist in our hearts? As lambs are we willing to expand our efforts to be peacemakers, advocates for justice, and generous providers to the poor and needy?
St. John the Baptist reminds us to prepare the way of the Lord. Jesus the world who became flesh modeled through his life that the essence of our existence is to renew and restore the kingdom on earth.
During this Advent Season let us pray that the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon each one of us and provide the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, and the fear of the Lord. Lastly, may we delight in our calling to be people of transformative and unifying love.
Reflection by Sister Barbara Finch
Reflection for the First Week of Advent
The road stretched so far away and was so filled with obstacles. The woman whose body was stretched uncomfortably felt awkward and frightened yet simmering with an unspeakable joy at the new life quickening within her.
She had made careful plans. Their little home was ready with the minute preparations of those past eight months. But now they had to leave that comfort behind and set out on a journey where the only comfort was the strength of the carpenter who walked beside her and the steady heartbeat of the precious new life she carried.
Joseph loved the child swelling within her. He would protect them. Somehow she trusted the promises made by the angel. She knew that this seemingly endless journey to the home of their ancestors was all part of the plan. Yet, there was so little time to get to a safe place, and the baby was coming so soon. So, Mary kept moving forward, trusting that the child conceived in love would be born surrounded by love.
We enter this Advent season stretched uncomfortably with the ever increasing responsibilities of our daily lives. There is so much to do. Our responsibilities seem to crowd out the good intentions we make to spend more time in prayer in preparation for this holy season.
Yet, there is a quickening of new life within us. Once again we feel the warmth of love growing in ourhearts. We set forth on this Advent journey comforted by the steady strength of Joseph’s trust and Mary’s total surrender. We journey toward the home of our spiritual ancestors, willing to be open as we move steadily forward into love. We need only be attentive to the steady pulse of God’s life within us.
How can we hear the whispers of love that surround us? Do we recognize the promises that are thundering in the gentle mantra that beats within us? Can we feel the constant murmur that reminds us, “I am here within you. You are my Beloved.” Over and over again that steady love song is flowing within and around us and we need only be still and receive that love.
We don’t always need the comfort of a peaceful chapel or our favorite place of contemplation, though we cherish the moments when we can be there. We carry this love child within us wherever we are. We only need be attentive to that steady heartbeat of God’s love and rejoice that we are so gifted. We only have to be open to the joy that is offered to us and be lovingly attentive to the miracle of being so loved.
Listen……”I am here within you. You are my Beloved.” Listen…..
Reflection by Sister Rita Murillo