Message for the Second Sunday of Advent is particularly poignant with pandemic
by Sister Jane Riha
The beautiful Scripture passages for the Second Sunday of Advent will resonate with each person differently. The Scriptures written generations ago, for people of different cultures, have meaning for our lives today.
The first reading for this Sunday begins with “Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.” (Isaiah 40:1) How much we need to hear those words given the trauma of the pandemic and the loss of so many lives. We enter this Advent Season very differently from a year ago. Life has changed for everyone. The tenderness in the entire passage reminds us that we are lovingly cared for and embraced by God, like a shepherd who gathers the lambs in his arms.
During Advent, the Scriptures speak of waiting, preparing, and patience. Perhaps the deeper meaning of waiting and patience is more poignant because of the pandemic. The call to prepare the way of the Lord is as unique as each person and circumstance. The Incarnate God is with us revealing God’s loving identification with all that affects our humanity.
How does one prepare? The Scriptures for today show us the way. As in the Letter of Saint Peter, our sense of time and God’s time might be quite different. In the Gospel, ultimately, John the Baptist, invites us to be humble. He was the great messenger but spoke of himself as one “not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of His (Jesus) sandals.”
Patience, waiting and humility are very much needed as we cope with the pandemic. The beautiful Season of Advent may provide the context to see the transforming grace of God’s presence in the midst of our suffering and difficulty. We wait patiently in joyful hope.