Sunday, December 9, 2012

Advent Calendar - December 9, 2012

Baruch 5:1-9,Phil. 1:4-6, 8-11, Luke 3:1-6

Reflection by Sister Dolores Folz
Monastery centralized purchasing, HHC payroll assistant

For many people, children included, Advent is a season of hope. Hope of all kinds fills our hearts and minds. For children it may be the hope that they will receive the special toy they have been dreaming of for so long. For adults it may be the hope of family being able to gather for some special time together. There are probably a million other hopes that could be articulated, but the point is that it is a time of hope. What may be lost or overshadowed in all the hustle and bustle is the fundamental reason for the hope of this time of year.

This Sunday’s readings speak of that basic reason for hope. In Baruch we hear “Up, Jerusalem! Stand upon the heights; look to the east and see your children gathered from the east and the west…rejoicing that they are remembered by God…. for God is leading Israel in joy by the light of his glory.”

In Philippians Paul writes: “I am confident of this, that the One who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

And finally in Luke we hear from John the Baptist proclaiming the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Each of these readings speaks of a hope grounded in a much firmer source than getting a particular gift or having everybody together for a joy filled, peace filled reunion. Such hopes certainly are appropriate for the season but are fleeting unless they are grounded in a deeper sense of all of us being a part of a much bigger picture, of all people united in a much bigger family, and a profound understanding that God’s love and goodness is there for all in all circumstances…even if we don’t get that special gift or the family gathering turns out to be less than perfect.

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