What Are We Waiting For?
We often refer to Advent as a time of waiting, perhaps in a passive sense. Like waiting for the sun to rise or waiting in the grocery checkout line. John the Baptist suggests an alternative kind of waiting, one that involves action. In today’s world, a paraphrase of his message might be something like: You better shape up! What are you waiting for?
Isaiah’s vision for the kingdom on earth is one of perceived enemies being at peace, being comfortable, in harmony, unafraid of each other. Where is that possible today? What are we waiting for? What would it take to make that happen?
Our second week of Advent is another “wake up” call to action. What conversion of mind, heart, and life is the Lord asking of me? Where am I called to be a “sprout” of hope? Where are the dead stumps in my life—a destructive habit that has hold on my life, a broken relationship, financial struggles, conflict or terror, the abuse of God’s creation?
John the Baptist is described as a voice of one crying out in the desert, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. When have I felt like a voice crying out in the desert? When have I failed to use my voice when I should have? Where do I see or experience injustice?
This weekend we gather to celebrate the Eucharist as a community of hope. May we resist the status quo of pain in the world—war, long journeys to escape terror, famine, the effects of climate change, racism, the lack of respect for persons who are not like us—so that all can experience the joy and hope of the birth of Jesus. May our conversion, our transformation be living “sprouts” of that joy and hope!
What are we waiting for? Let’s do it!
Link to “On That Holy Mountain,” a musical version of this Sunday’s reading from Isaiah: