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ADVENT 2016: A reflection for the First Sunday of Advent, November 27

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November 29, 2016

advREFLECTION - Isaiah 2:1-5 | Romans 13:11-14 | Matthew 24:37-44

“And do this because you know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.” Romans 13:11

Who or what do we wait for?

Advent is a strange time. We wait for the One who has already come. We wait for the One who is in our midst struggling and living among us. We wait for the One who beckons us from an unknown and unimagined future.

We wait, sometimes quietly, sometimes perched on tiptoes, sometimes in the midst of frenzied activity, sometimes not sure what we are waiting for, but always with the expectation that something will happn that will give our waiting purpose and meaning.

The Isaiah reading has the people climbing a mountaintop waiting to be instructed in the ways of God. In Romans, we read that the people are waiting for the dawn to reveal how to live honorably. In the Gospel we are told to anticipate the unexpected and to be prepared to find the Promised One in the most unlikely places.

In the ebbing time of 2016, where are the unlikely people and places where the Promised One is to be found?

  • In the neighborhoods that we tell our children not to go into…
  • In the people we ignore because fear holds us hostage…
  • In those who dress differently and speak with an accent, who we claim have no right to be in our country…
  • In communities that challenge us to confront our privilege…

The swords and spears of our time are drones, military hardware, and systemic racism, along with malicious gossip, judgement towards others. back-biting, grudge-holding, and bullying.

What is these swords were turned to acceptance, respect, trust and peace-with-justice activities? Advent would no longer be a strange time.

For reflection

What are the swords and spears in my life that need conversion?

____________

Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN is the program director for Pax Christi USA. This reflection is from the booklet, Journey towards Justice: Reflections for Advent and Christmas 2016.

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