2nd Sunday in Advent

Advent wreath in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame

This week’s Readings

Are you familiar with the song from Man of La Mancha: “The Impossible Dream?” That First Reading for Sunday surely seems like an impossible dream, doesn’t it?

That Reading is divided into two parts. In the first, Isaiah describes the perfect king. He enjoys the special gifts of the Spirit: Wisdom, insight, counsel, power, knowledge and a deep sense of reverence for God. He shall judge the poor with justice and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. Does such a person exist today?

The second part is a picture of the age this King will inaugurate. It is a regime of justice and peace, free from danger or fear. Natural enemies will lie down peacefully with each other. There will be no harm or ruin in this world, says Isaiah. Is that kind of world possible?

Well, remember the words when you were anointed with Chrism at your Baptism? Along with Christ, you were anointed priest, prophet and king. Immediately afterwards, you received the white garment, symbol of being “clothed in Christ.” Confirmation endowed you with the gifts of the Spirit, mentioned above.

So isn’t it possible to believe that the description of the ideal King is applicable to you and me? Isn’t it possible to believe, then, that the role of the ideal King is our role in the world as well?

In the second Reading Paul writes about repentance. In this context, repentance means being able to say: “Yes it is possible that I do have a unique set of Kingly gifts from the Spirit. Yes, it is possible that I can that I can use those gifts to shape my little corner of the world. I want to do something to bring abut the Kingdom of God on earth.”

Alternatively, we can say: “Who cares … it’s not my problem … I can’t do it … I don’t have time … the problem is too big to fix … I’m afraid to step up … or whatever other excuse we can conjure up. Where is the hope, the faith, and the love in those statements?

Be God’s smile for someone today. That’s a good start!

herb yost reflections

Fr. Herb, C.S.C.

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