Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for Dec. 6, 2020

Reflection for Dec. 6, 2020

Patience, waiting and humility

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.


12/04/2020 6:07 am

Thanks Jane for your meaningful words of wisdom. I pray for the gifts of patience and joyful hope for all of us.

12/04/2020 7:07 am

Yes, John the Baptist's mission is our mission, too. We, too, are meant to declare: "Prepare the way for the Christ's return! Clear the road of hateful speech, vile and violent behaviors, cheating and stealing, depriving the poor and needy of their rights!"

"Turn your hearts, instead, to hear the Word of God! Let God's Word take root in rich, repentant soil. Soil that has been soaked with tears of mourning and grief for the loss of truth, the loss of righteousness and justice, the loss of care for others who suffer. Soil that has been made nutrient-rich with understanding and compassion, as a result of your own pain and suffering!"

"Repent! And declare Christ-Coming! Christ-coming-among-us! Christ-coming-within-us! Christ-coming-again! And again! And again! Christ-coming for the sake of God's Beloved People!"

"Yes, A Gain! Christ-coming is a great gain of our repentant hearts!"

"Yes, A Gain! Our suffering and loss is now made a gain in Christ-coming!"

"Yes, Prepare the Way! Christ Comes!"

12/07/2020 9:08 am

Thank you, Sister Jane, for sharing the wisdom and insight into this Sunday’s readings, and the opportunity our current, painful pandemic can provide for a deeper understanding of the longing of our hearts for the coming of our Lord.

12/07/2020 2:36 pm

Your reflection was spot on and so relevant during this challenging time. Thank you!

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