Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent, December 4, 2022

By Sr Rita Ostry ND

1st Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10     Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12

In the first reading from Isaiah, I am struck by the images.  They are amazing and defy the usual images of opposites being enemies … wolves guests of lambs, a calf with a lion, cows neighbors with bears, and babies playing near cobra’s dens.  How can this be?  How would this happen?  We read that the One who is coming will be filled with wisdom and a spirit of understanding.  He will judge with justice and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God.  Does that not sound like a radical, impossible dream?  I venture to say that is God’s dream for creation.  It is a call to live in peace and harmony with one another, to accept, honor and reverence one another.  Basically, it is to live in caring relationship with one another — to love one another.

And so, the question becomes what gets in the way of loving one another?  Why is it we fear one another?  That seems to be a call of the gospel reading.  We are called to examine our lives, our perceptions, and our relationships with one another.  Are there attitudes, judgments or biases that cause me to alienate others, to fear others or to dislike others?  How am I called to repent and make straight the way for God’s presence to be among us?

It seems these Advent days invite us to take time to search our hearts and souls deeply, encountering a personal conversion that can be about bringing God’s dream of unity, harmony, and peace within and among all of creation.   Let us join in making God’s wild and wonderful dream a reality in our corner of the universe.  Blessings on your Advent journeying!