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Sunday, 06 December 2020 07:00

2nd Sunday of Advent - PEACE

 2020.55.Sunday Advent 2.Main Blog Image

Waiting sure has been a theme of my year – waiting to be allowed to travel more than 5km, waiting to be allowed to visit a friend, waiting for borders to open, waiting in lines at shops because there are already too many people inside or waiting for shops to reopen so I can actually go, waiting for mail to arrive that takes twice as long as usual, waiting to be able to return to Mass at my church, waiting, waiting, waiting, you get the idea. Waiting can be challenging, and I think Covid has emphasised this to us like never before.

Our invitation is to become present to how God is with us while we wait. Knowing he is with us, and believing in his presence won’t necessarily speed the time of waiting up, but it can drastically alter our experience of the waiting itself. An awareness of his presence in the waiting can ease the burden, lighten the load, comfort us in the sorrow, and strengthen us in the uncertainty and anxiety.

Waiting is a major theme of the story of God’s people throughout all of history. The Israelites were waiting for Moses to return back down the mountain with the ten commandments, and they were also waiting to be able to return home when they were held captive in Babylon. All through the time of the prophets, the theme of waiting was also strong – waiting for the Messiah, waiting for the One who would make a difference and transform their lives.

Advent draws us into this waiting as we long for the birth of Jesus and the salvation that is on offer to us. At the heart of Advent waiting is the call from John the Baptist in today’s gospel to prepare a way for the Lord. We are invited to take time to be still so that we can hear the voice of God speaking to us and receive the gift of salvation in a new way.

The psalm today reminds us that God speaks of peace, and Isaiah in the first reading emphasises God as our greatest comforter, as one who reaches out to us with unrivalled tenderness, drawing us close to his bosom as a shepherd gathers lambs in his arms. Let’s imbue or time of Advent waiting with this peace and comfort by taking time to be still with God each day and allowing him into the experiences of each day.

Mel Edwards