Happy Advent! So many people loved our Advent Reflection books and we hope that you will also find our weekly reflections helpful in celebrating this beautiful season. As a theme for the reflections, we choose to focus on the following two imperative calls to our Community:
- We are called to respond individually, corporately and collaboratively to those areas of society that are in need of a compassionate presence.
- We are called to commit ourselves to a contemplative way of being in our world, by deeply listening for God’s voice in Scripture, in our personal experience, in the culture and in the Church.
Let us pray for each other as we listen to the Word of God in our lives and become a compassionate presence to ourselves and to others.
Our Advent reflections will be released every Sunday during the Advent season and have been written by Sisters Barbara Mass, Ruth Platte, Kristine Vorenkamp and Luanne Wilhelm.
Week One Advent Reflection
Written by Kristine Vorenkamp, SLW
Jeremiah 33: 14-16
Psalm 25: 4,5,8,9,10,14
Thessalonians 3:12 – 4:2
Lk 21: 25-28,34-36
The gospel for the first Sunday in Advent might hit one right between the eyes, like one of those END OF THE WORLD horror films. The gospel writer, Luke, wrote after the destruction of Jerusalem. In the first half of today’s gospel Jesus is describing the great trials the people would be going through. But, in the second part, Jesus speaks of what is expected of his followers: to be vigilant and pray for strength.
We, today, don’t have to look very far to see “the signs” Jesus speaks of. They are all around us. It might not mean that the end of the world is here literally, but it is certainly the end of the world as we have known it. All is in transition… every aspect of life. Jesus is calling us to be people of hope, that we can “stand erect and raise our heads.”
We are Advent people, people who believe that there is light in the darkness. Jeremiah prophesies in the first reading that the Lord will fulfill the promise made to the House of Israel. God will raise up a just shoot who will do what is right and just in the land.
Jesus is our Saviour. We are called to be his disciples, to also be just, and do what is right. What is our task today in order to bring hope to our ailing world? Sister Joan Chittister has a word for us basing her thoughts on the beatitude: Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. She says that we must mourn and grieve the hatred, inequality and destruction that is happening. However, we can’t be comforted if we mourn without action.
Jesus calls us first to pray… to spend time contemplating what is real, and then pray for strength. As Advent people we hope and act because we care that our world be transformed into God’s reign. Come, Lord Jesus, come.