Advent Reflection – Week Two

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Week Two Advent Reflection
Written by Ruth Platte, SLW

Baruch 5:1 – 9
Psalm 126: 1 – 6
Philippians 1: 4 – 6, 8 – 11
Luke 3:1 – 6

It never ceases to amaze me how creative my nieces and nephews are when they have to give “time outs” to their little ones in need of “behavior- attitude adjustments.” I was reminded of this when I started reflecting on the readings for the Second Week of Advent that call for spiritual “time outs,” in other words repentance and conversion.

Throughout history, God, the creative and Compassion One, has sent a variety of prophets and saints to call us to metanoia.  Metanoia is a Greek word implying conversion, change of mind, spirit, heart and total attitude adjustment. Both Baruch and John the Baptist, in the Sunday readings, speak prophetic words about our need to smooth over rough ways in our world. If we straighten crooked paths in our own heart, also with family and friends, and if we resist the evil forces in our world, we will experience God’s hand at work.  As the Scriptures for Sunday indicate, the Compassionate God calls for repentance because God is moving us along a brand-new path of joy, light and life and this demands that we change our ways.

Jesus is the Light and the Life because he points the way to God. He is the face of God’s compassion.  As disciples of Jesus, we too are called to be the face of God’s compassion in today’s world marked by religious conflicts, wars, racial tensions, climate challenges, and unresolved immigration issues. This week of Advent, our spiritual “time out” urges us to pause and reflect on at least one major need of our day and ask ourselves what we are going to do about it? How can we be a compassionate presence in this day and age?

Check out the prophets and saints for the Second Week of Advent who heralded God’s reign of compassion in a broken world and challenge us to do the same.

Monday: St. Nicholas: Bishop in Turkey 350 ad. His charitable deeds were the basis of the Santa Claus tradition.  (The power of the Lord was with him.  Luke 5:17-26)

Tuesday: St Ambrose: Preacher. The power of his words converted St. Augustine.

Wednesday: Immaculate Conception of Mary: (Nothing is impossible for God. Luke 1:26-38)

Thursday: St. Juan Diego, Tepeyac Mexico: (Fear not, I will help you.  Is 41:13-20)

Friday: I the Lord your God will teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go.  (Is 48:17-19)

Saturday: St Damasus I: Pope in time of political and religious struggles (Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Luke 3:4,6 –Gospel Acclamation)