First Sunday of Advent
Photo by Mary Etzel of crèche of John and Mary Anne Etzel, St. Leonard, Maryland
Link to today's readings:
Isaiah 63:16B-17, 19B, 64:2-7; Psalm 80:2-3, 15-15, 18-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Psalm 85:8; Mark 13:33-37
At last. The season where we have permission, where we are commanded to stop and listen, watch and hope, wait and believe. Why is this so hard to do?
Noted Biblical Scholar Walter Brueggemann offers this beautiful Advent prayer from his book, Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth:
In our secret yearnings
we wait for your coming,
and in our grinding despair
we doubt that you will. And in this privileged place
we are surrounded by witnesses who yearn more than do we
and by those who despair more deeply than do we.
Look upon your church and its pastors
in this season of hope
which runs so quickly to fatigue
and in this season of yearning
which becomes so easily quarrelsome.
Give us the grace and the impatience
to wait for your coming to the bottom of our toes
to the edges of our fingertips.
We do not want our several worlds to end.
Come in your power
and come in your weakness
in any case
and make all things new.
We can’t hear the footsteps if we ourselves are running. Trust, watch and wait. That is both the gift and the challenge of Advent. Tear off the wrapping and embrace it.
For our 2017 Advent reflections, we thank Voice of the Faithful members Fr. Bob Bonnot, Association of U.S. Catholic Priests; Priscilla Deck of Beverly, Massachusetts; Svea Fraser of Wellesley, Massachusetts; Patricia Gomez of Tewksbury, Massachusetts; Dennis Grohman of Pomona, New Jersey; and Margaret Roylance of Newton, Massachusetts.