Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, recently closed the extraordinary Year of Mercy with the end of the Ecclesiastical Year on the glorious feast of Christ the King, November 20. Captured in our readings and reflection on that day is the Lord, king of heaven and earth, “Jesus shows Himself to be lordly, not through beautiful dignity of self-giving love.” (Word Among Us, page 39, November 2016).
As we move from the First Sunday of Advent, on November 27 where we were invited to “Stay awake! And be prepared,” we come to the Second Sunday of Advent, December 3 where the Gospel of Matthew visions for us John the Baptist’s cry “A voice crying out in the desert prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” That is our invitation too; if we are awake and prepared we can be a voice heralding his coming into our world and make straight His path. You’ve heard, I’m sure that “God writes straight with crooked lines!” That is what is meant by being witness for the Lord and carrying his message “to the ends of the earth.” For us that might mean from LA to Orange County (!) wherever our happenings take us, we are inspired by the Spirit. In that Spirit we are enflamed with his love to be His witnesses and thereby building up the Church and the Kingdom of God. We then can “judge wisely the things of earth and hold them firm to things of heaven.” (Word Among Us, Page M23, November 2016).
Let this Advent truly be a time of renewal, enflamed with His love to be that Jesus in our midst, vibrantly alive with His message! You may be the only Jesus people meet of a day. What will people see in that encounter and take away with him/her? It’s your choice!