3rd Sunday of Advent
People are telling me they can no longer watch local or international news because it’s so distressing. I understand their response, and I admit that I, too, have been limiting my daily news consumption. Reading today’s scriptures was like grabbing onto a life jacket.
Advent is our yearly dose of hope, and this third Sunday, in particular, ignites a beacon of hope. We begin with Isaiah’s messianic prophecy. The Lord has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.
Everyone is poor whether they have a stable income or not. We are poor when we feel stuck and don’t know how to turn. We’re poor when we don’t know how to solve our problems, our children’s problems. We’re poor when we feel little or no hope for ourselves or our world.
Isaiah calls to us to raise our heads – to look at the sun, to feel God’s warmth on our faces, to give our broken hearts to the divine healer, to grasp the freedom that’s offered us as children of God. The time has come. Look with hope to the one who can “make justice and praise spring up before all the nations.”
Paul piggybacks Isaiah’s message by encouraging us to reclaim the spirit of joy, to “rejoice always,” to “pray without ceasing,” and “to give thanks.”
We need to hear the prophets’ message this Sunday. We need to focus our attention on hope and the possibility of joy.
Let’s conclude this reflection with one final prophecy of hope: Jerusalem, take off the clothes you have worn in your mourning and distress and put on the eternal splendor of God’s glory. Put around you the cloak of God’s righteousness. Place on your head the crown of the glory of the Eternal God. (Baruch 5:1-2)
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked upon his lowly servant…he has remembered his promise of mercy.”