Second Sunday in Advent

December 4, 2022

Sister Anne Madeleine Brost, OSB shares a reflection on the scripture readings: Isaiah 11:1-10; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12

Some Thing New

Last Sunday’s readings told us to “get ready.” Today John the Baptist tells us,

“Let go of the old, repent, look forward, fire and the Spirit are coming.”

I have heard this as long as I have known about Advent. What is the Spirit encouraging me, us, to do this year? What are we waiting for?

In my research for this reflection, I came upon a poem from the Koran in the book Radical Love. The poem is named Hidden Treasure. I hear God speaking in this poem.

I was a Hidden Treasure

and I yearned,

I loved

to be known

                intimately.

So I created the heavens and the Earth

so that they may know Me

               intimately.

I become aware again that as I wait for Jesus’ birth, the Divine is waiting for me, for us, to choose to love our Creator.

All Creation is made to “know God intimately.” God created us to know God intimately. But God has been waiting since the beginning of Creation for that to happen. It took some 10 billion years for life to come to existence on our planet. I think of all the billions of things that came before life. They love the Divine in their absolute way—they have no choice but to evolve toward the Creator.

God waited 10 billion years for life to begin on this earth. And another 999,300,000,000 years for cells to come together. Then another 3 million years before our first ancestors existed.

It was about 40,000 years ago that thinking beings came into being. Now God’s Creation is able to choose to love the Creator. As we become more human, more Divine, we see and understand more as God sees and understands. God loves all of us even as we learn more of how God is. 

It seems to me that as we become more aware of the beauty of creation, especially of our own beauty, we will learn not to condemn one another. We will understand that we are learning how to live in the awareness of the Divine. We will recognize our own ignorance and frailty and recognize that the persons whom we want to condemn do not know what is good. They may have seen what is good, but they have not accepted the good as their way to happiness. If I call any one “a brood of vipers” as John calls the Pharisees in today’s gospel reading,  I still must remember that the Divine loves that group of persons. 

As we wait for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, we wait with the Divine for ourselves to grow, to evolve, to be touched with the Spirit and fire. We wait to grow in being in love with God, who wants to be loved, intimately.

Let us pray the Prayer for the Synod.

We stand before you, Holy Spirit,

As we gather together in Your name.

With You alone to guide us,

Make Yourself at home in our hearts.

Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.

We are weak and vulnerable, do not let us promote disorder.

Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path

Nor partiality influence our actions.

Let us find in You, our unity

So that we may journey together

And not stray from the way of truth

And what is right.

All this we ask of You,

Who are at work in every place and time,

In the communion of the Creator and the Christ,

Now and forever, Amen.