Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorGillick, Larry, S.J.en_US
dc.identifier.otherLectionary number: 6en_US
dc.description.abstractSo as to be more available to the Advent graces of these readings, we might employ our imaginations to picture John the Baptist shouting out to all, but nobody in particular, about the need to clean up their acts and get straight as a desert highway. Some stop, others pass quickly by. He intensifies his preaching and their ignorings of him do likewise. ||PRE-PRAYERING| The Opening Prayer of this celebration leads us to ask that those things that keep us from receiving Jesus joyfully, be removed. There is the call to us in today's liturgy to return, to recover, and to re-friend our identity as God's-called-people.|There are mountains of resistance and valleys of stumblings which make progress difficult to seemingly impossible. The comfort for which and with which we pray is that God has relented and will aid our being repented; God will make all seem less forbidding and more life-bidding. Jesus' advent is God's promise not to leave us in our self-chosen exiles and abandonment. Our Advent prayer is to repent from our own selfish welcoming spirit. We love our ways and new calls and new comings of God can disturb and annoy our expectations. |REFLECTION| We hear a joyful personification of all that Jerusalem meant to the Jewish people of the time of the Prophet Baruch during our First Reading. In the previous chapter, Jerusalem is pictured as a sad and discouraged mother. She has seen her sons and daughters go into captivity and could not stop their sinning. What we hear is the whole fifth chapter proclaiming God's pardon and restoration of this royal city and the glory which is from God and shared with the people.|Nature itself will be dealt with by God and nothing of mountains or valleys will hinder God from doing a great new work "with his mercy and justice for company." There is an explicit personal relationship here which the people have violated, but God personally is bringing them home to their mother, Jerusalem. God has given birth to this nation of people; Jerusalem as mother, gives them God's nourishment, identity, and care. They have turned their back on her and as desolate mother she waits. God, through Baruch, announces that God has again turned a merciful face towards Jerusalem's children.| John the Baptist takes center stage the next two weeks. In our Sunday liturgies we will not see or hear Jesus until he is lying in a manger in Bethlehem. John is Jesus' advanceman and advertising agent. What we hear now is the simple statement that the special someone is coming. John is rather forcefully inviting people to a cleansing baptism as a preparation for the Lord's great arrival. His words echo the theme we hear in the First Reading that the God who made all things will move heaven to earth so that nothing will prevent the return of God's family.|We are preparing to welcome this "someone" who calls us personally and collectively to a freedom which in itself sounds wonderful, but is in fact, frightening. There are no standards for intimacy. No relationship, worth its name, is predictable. John calls each of us to such a relationship without providing a "how-to-do-it" manual. When two humans grow close to each other, their mysteries remain separate. They do get little glimpses of the other which might lead them to think they have solved the mystery, broken through the puzzle. Now isn't that just like us!| In the relationship to which God invites us through the ancient and new covenants, God remains as much of a mystery to us as we are to ourselves. The "someone" who comes and for whom we wait these days of Advent and our lives, comes, not to solve us, but save us. One of the areas of our repentance to which John calls us and Jesus invites us, is the illusion that we are solveable. Even more, we are urged to surrender the anger or frustration which come from expecting "solvation" so that we will not be needing any of that "salvation."| The next area of repentance is our letting go of the anger and frustration arising from our not being able to solve the "other" of our more intimate relations. We would like some standards and predictability in their lives so that we could help them solve themselves. Friends, spouses, community members, and even family members, assist God in the on-going creation of those "others." We assist the Baptist in announcing in various ways that there is need for their being saved and that salvation is coming.| One more "mountain" to be leveled by this laboring God, is the simple truth which is so difficult to admit, but amazingly freeing when we do. It is that which others see and know in us before we do. We are selfish! There are sides to this reality of course. We take in air and food selfishly. After that, it takes discernment. This is indeed one of those mysteries which when accepted results in our awareness of how unstandardly God loves us and invites us to the compassionate and unpredictable saving love we offer those "others." I would welcome this Advent the gift of being free from the illusion that I am not selfish and repent from asking others to support my pretense. I think I prayed about this before and, God willing, I suppose I will be kneeling in the same posture next Advent. I do believe the Savior has come with his mystery to embrace mine. Now I have to embrace it the more.| "People of Zion, the Lord will come to save all nations, and your hearts will exalt to hear his majestic voice." Is.en_US
dc.publisherUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.rightsThese reflections may not be sold or used commercially without permission. Personal or parish use is permitted.en_US
dc.titleReflection for Sunday, December 7, 2003: 2nd week in Advent.en_US
dc.rights.holderUniversity Ministry, Creighton University.en_US
dc.publisher.locationOmaha, Nebraska, United Statesen_US
dc.program.unitVP for University Ministryen_US
dc.program.unitDeglman Center for Ignatian Spiritualityen_US
dc.contributor.cuauthorGillick, Lawrence D., S.J.en_US 2en_US
dc.subject.local1Baruch 5:1-9en_US
dc.subject.local2Psalms 126:1-2a, 2b-3, 4-5, 6en_US
dc.subject.local3Philemon 1:4-6, 8-11en_US
dc.subject.local4Luke 3:1-6en_US
dc.title.seriesDaily Reflections (Meditations) on the Scriptures from the Roman Catholic Lectionary.en_US Cen_US

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Daily Reflections Archive
    Reflections written by Creighton University faculty, staff, and administrators on the daily mass readings.

Show simple item record