Reflection for the Second Sunday in Advent, 2015

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Reflection for the Second Sunday in Advent, 2015

by Sister Gretchen Johnston

Baruch 5:1-9
Psalm 126:1-6
Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
Luke 3:1-3

Coming Home

 Prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight God’s paths. All creation will see the salvation of God!      

            Coming home. Coming back to a place where you are welcomed, where you are loved unconditionally, where you are respected, and where you belong. Who doesn’t want that? Our family homes reflect that vision dimly. This our monastery home reflects that vision dimly. But that dimness is called to become a reality. How can this happen?

            Prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight God’s paths. All creation will see the salvation of God!

            Mother Jerusalem is bidden to stop her mourning and clothe herself in festal high priestly garments. Her children will be brought back to her as she watches from the mountaintop. They will be grown into royalty. They will not stumble, for the roads will be made level. They have been led out in tears, but restored beyond their wildest dreams.

            Prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight God’s paths. All creation will see the salvation of God!      

            It is a joy that all people are called to prepare the way of God in their hearts. That all love may increase, that all knowledge may grow, that all responsiveness may deepen, that knowledge of human nature may further more forgiveness: this is the prayer of Paul and of John the Baptist. Our hearts will become level highways for our God.

            Prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight God’s paths. All creation will see the salvation of God!

            We are called to prepare the way of the Lord. Again I ask, how can this happen? By forgiving one another, by growing in knowledge of human nature, by loving one another, and by respecting one another. Then not only will we be easier to live with, we will be making a way for God to enter our hearts and live among us. These are the paths of God. By forgiving one another, by growing in knowledge of human nature, and by loving one another, we show true community mindedness, no matter what edifices we erect internally or externally. As John the Baptist urges, let us repent of the times when we are not forgiving and become more forgiving. Then all creation will see the glory of the Lord in us.

            Prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight God’s paths. All creation will see the salvation of God!

            When we come back home, we will not be the same. Nothing can ever be the same as it was before. But with God to lead us, and in the light of God’s glory, we shall be restored beyond our wildest dreams. We will come back to the Home that our family homes, our monastery home, have been a dim reflection of.

When we forgive one another, we come closer to home.

When we love one another, we come closer to home.

When we grow in knowledge of the marvelous complexity of human nature, we come closer to home.

When we welcome one another, we come closer to home.

When we respect each other, we come closer to home.

When we repent of the edifices we have built for ourselves, WE COME HOME.

            Prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight God’s paths. All creation will see the salvation of God!

            My sisters, this is urgent: Let’s go home together.

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“Before all, and above all, attention shall be paid to the care of the sick, so that they shall be served as if they were Christ Himself.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict