Sunday, November 28, 2010

Get Ready

Advent.  We call it a season of expectation, of waiting, but just a passing glance at the readings of the season suggest the time of waiting has passed.  Something dramatically new is imminent.

Something.  Something overabundant with promise:  A kingdom of justice.  A wise, anointed leader. A never-ending feast of "rich food and choice wines".  The healing of all those who know sickness or despair.  A song of praise. Day after day this Advent season, the first reading presents the sumptuous fare to come.

And yet we hear within also warning.  "Stay awake!", cries Matthew in the Gospel this Sunday.  "Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken and one will be left."  Or next Friday: "None of those who cry out 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of God,  but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven."  "Even now the ax is laid to the root of the tree," cries John the Baptist next Sunday.

The birth of a child (let alone the child Jesus) hardly seems a moment for an anticipation tinged with fear.  And yet, every parent also knows of the fear and uncertainty that comes with being a parent.   A thousand unanswerable questions and still-to-come dilemmas that will ask them to choose what is best or right without truly knowing.

That's the sense of warning here -- something's coming, and it's good, but simply by its presence it will also ask us to change our lives.

If you're looking for something to pray for these early days of Advent, ask for openness. It's time to be ready.


Dorothy said...

Delighted to have you back, Jim. Thanks for your time and thoughts.

Jim McDermott, SJ said...

You bet.