Welcoming the Holy

Here we invite you to take time for yourself in personal prayer. The following spiritual reflection offers words and images which we hope will evoke for you an experience of God.


 

 

Second Sunday of Advent


Opening Prayer

God of Love, You are Emmanuel! God with us. God within us. Love incarnate, Love in action. Ignite within us compassion for the unloved, solidarity for the marginalized, and action for the mistreated of your creation. Let love energize our hearts to become one with yours; speaking the truth that Love is for all, and through all. Amen.

 

Reading

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins. A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; the rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Go up on to a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by his strong arm; here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.
 

Reflection

 

The reading from the Prophet Isaiah seems to be made to order for the tumultuous times we are living through: Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.”
 
Isaiah and his people are being stripped down and ironically, they’re in a place where they have the most power. Because it’s a place where they are entirely dependent upon on God; for God comes to us in the wilderness!
 
The prophet reminds us that the wilderness has the power to transform because in times we find ourselves in the wilderness, they are times we reach out for a comforter because nothing is comfortable. And are we not in a wilderness at this time… where the Covid-19 pandemic is worsening, and has displaced us from the world as we have known it, into a world of isolation and quarantining, of financial insecurity and fear of upturned certainties which reveal deep-seated injustices… are we not desiring comfort from all these changes and losses?
 
These are chaotic, uncertain times and what is it that we need to do to stay grounded in God so that we can give comfort to others and not add to their unease and worries?
 
Isaiah tells us to be heralds of Good News, to not fear, and to cry out in a loud voice: Here is your God who comes with power and strength, and who gathers the lambs in his arms, who gathering us up in his arms; and leading them with care, leading us with care.
 
Pope Francis said that the real joy of a Christian comes not from what our lives are right now - but from what Jesus has promised to us. “Be courageous in suffering and remember that after that suffering, the Lord will come. When the hardships are over, joy will come, after the dark, comes the sun”. Pope Francis concluded by praying that God “give us all this joy in hope.”
 

 
 

 

 

Closing Prayer: 

Advent is a time to wait for your coming, Lord, but I wonder - is it you who's waiting for me?

Is there something you're waiting for me to do? a word you're waiting for me to hear? a word you're waiting for me to speak?
 
Is there truth you're waiting for me to discover? faith you're waiting for me to deepen? hope you're waiting for me to trust?
Is there someone you're waiting for me to love? someone you're waiting for me to forgive? someone you're waiting for me to comfort?
 
Is there a gift you're waiting for me to receive? a blessing you're waiting for me to enjoy? a talent you're waiting for me to share?
 
Is there a fault you're waiting for me to acknowledge? a sin you're waiting for me to face? pardon you're waiting for me to seek?
 
Is there someone you're waiting for me to let go? a grudge or resentment I need to shake off? a habit you're waiting for me to change?
 
Is there a challenge you're waiting for me to accept? a change you're waiting for me to make? a path you're waiting for me to walk?
 
Are you waiting for me to draw closer to you? waiting to hear my heart speak in prayer? waiting for me to welcome you in?
 
Are you waiting for me to wait for you, Lord?
 
In so many ways, Lord, I'm waiting for you I wait for your word, I wait for your love: help me this Advent to see all the ways you're waiting for me... Amen
 
 

Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester

Sisters of Saint Joseph of
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