2nd SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR C: DECEMBER 9TH, 2012.
Letter to Sinead and Mark: (Sinead and Mark are two Young Adults):
Dear Sinead and Mark,
Are you following the Kate and William story? Great joy! A child is expected, early days yet, everyone hoping all will go well. The papers are already full of the good news.
And our own special day, for our own Special Child, the son of Mary, our own brother – it’s getting closer! Sixteen days to Christmas. Plenty of preparation to be done, and not just in the house or in the kitchen, in the shopping for presents. Maybe the real preparation is in clearing out the rubbish, emptying the bin of the heart, making sure there is a special place made ready when ‘He who is to come’ will come. What better present could we prepare for him than to have a heart and family that is ready and eager to welcome him, the Risen Lord who came among us as a helpless baby for a start.
The readings this weekend are full of joy.
Reading 1 is from a minor Prophet called Baruch: chapter 5, verses 1-9:
‘Take off your dress of sorrow and distress, put on the beauty of the glory of God for ever…see your sons re-assembled from west and east…jubilant that God has remembered them….God brings them back to you like royal princes carried back in glory.’…and then follows the promise of a great Motorway building programme, levelling the hills, filling the valleys, so that a safe way will be ready for God’s people…’for God will guide Israel in joy by the light of his glory…’ Isn’t it great to hear such words of joy, promise, and glory for every person among us?
And if you can, have a wee look at St. Paul today (Letter to the Philippians, Chapter 1, verses 3-6, 8-11). Paul’s not always easy to read, to say the least, but today he is full of warmth: ‘’God knows how much I miss you all, loving you as Christ Jesus loves you.” His prayer then for us is that “your love for each other may increase more and more, and may it never stop improving your knowledge and deepening your perception so that you can always recognise what is best.”.. Paul is oozing with blessings for his dear friends in the new and tiny Christian community in Philippi,- the city left behind when the Roman army moved on. (It’s in Macedonia, – and we’ve played them in football!).
And then, Luke (in Luke Chapter 3: verses 1-6) begins off by giving us day and date practically,- who was in charge where and when, what Government was in place in Palestine when the word of God came to John who then headed off into the desert, preaching and calling people to repentance: ‘Prepare a way for the Lord!’ And then again, we have the same motorway-building programme,- making high places level, filling in valleys, straightening all the bad bends, making rough roads smooth… all of this so that the people would eventually see God coming to them.
The motorway is us! It’s you and me, preparing to welcome God with Us, Emmanuel, Jesus the son of Mary from Nazareth in Galilee. He’s on the way! He’ll be here any day soon.
A great way, that Catholics now and over many centuries up to our own have used to prepare for Christmas, is to go and celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation,- to examine our lives and hearts, to confess our sins, and to receive complete absolution with great joy and relief. It’s one special way where we welcome Christ and Christ welcomes us, and we embrace each other with great love and joy.
Try it! You’ll like it!
Sinead, Mark, God bless you both. Can I make my own the words of Paul that I quoted above, -‘’God knows how much I miss you all, loving you as Christ Jesus loves you” ?
(And if any or all of this speaks to you, don’t keep the joy to yourself! Tweet a friend or friends!)
Fr. Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R.