I have a couple of reflections to share with you. First of all, I have really been comforted by the readings from Isaiah this Advent. A bit of background: Isaiah is speaking to a people who have experienced violence. They’ve been exiled and deported to Babylon, and those who managed to escape the Babylonian fury have fled to other countries in the Middle East.
These last few weeks, I’ve been pondering how terrorists are the modern-day Babylonians. You know the results of their violence: fear, anxiety, flight, exile all the things the ancient Israelites experienced. But just as the prophet Isaiah consoled the Jewish people then, he consoles us now. Evil always carries the seeds of its own destruction. God always wins in the end. How, when, where that will happen, none of us knows. But good will triumph because of the lives and works and prayers of good people like you. God has promised that it will be so through prophets like Isaiah, and through his Son, Jesus.
The second thought comes from Sunday’s Second Reading and Gospel. In Hebrews, the writer says that God has prepared a body for me, for you. We’re wearing it right now. It might be young and vital, it might be wrinkly and decrepit. But it’s our bodyit’s how God clothed us. Tied in with this are the homes of Mary and Elizabeth. Both lived in the equivalent of a Biblical Podunk small, backwards, out of sight villages. But wonderful things happened in those villages because two women of faith lived there.
What I’m getting at is this: have you ever wondered why God has you where you are, in this country, in your town, your neighborhood and parish, maybe in an assisted living place, in this particular time of history? Your body occupies a set space on earth heck, it occupies a specific place in the known universe, for that matter. God wants you where you are and no place else, until the day you join God in heaven.
You are God’s hands, feet, twinkle in the eye. You are God’s consoling voice, God’s speaker of truth, God’s word of love and yes, God’s smile. God not only wants you on earth, God needs you on earth right where you are, just as you are, warts and all! Pretty cool, eh?
I hope you have a lovely Christmas with family and friends to love you up!