The readings this weekend are something else! That first reading and the image of the flowers blooming in the wasteland, the joyful words of hope and expectation-song, wonder-Here is your God come to save you...just take a deep breath and drink that all in!
The second reading calling me, (us!) to be patient until the day of the Lord is here. We'll come back to that idea of patience and how that has been a life long struggle for me!
The Gospel with John asking the question: "Are YOU the one or should we look for another?" (They were cousins...he didn't know??) I spent a significant amount of time recently praying with this passage in relation to current events this Advent. Both the first reading and the gospel speak about the blind seeing, the lame walking, the deaf hearing and so on, as signs that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Wow. Advent, we know, is the time not just to remember the story of Jesus' birth, but to think about and prepare for that second coming...whenever that will be.
What if the second coming was coming now? What are the signs of the times we should be paying attention to? The world certainly seems 'on the brink' sometimes... Would you be prepared if this second coming were coming...sooner rather than later? What would you want to change in your life, in your heart if you had a moment to prepare? Yikes! It would take me more than a moment...
Which I guess brings me back to James's advice to be patient ( and not judge one another and don't complain about each other...simple right?) It seems to me like there's a both/and here....we need to be patient with one another and encourage each other to grow in these virtues. At the same time we can't sit back and lollygag...(do we still use that word?) We need to be about the work of the kingdom! We need to speak for justice, for the poor, we need to stand up for our brothers and sisters when we see harm being done...we need to be on fire with Gospel values.This Sunday we light the pink candle and perhaps you'll see a priest or deacon in a pink vestment. This is our reminder to be joyful, to be excited as we hope for the kingdom. "Pink" has become a by-word too for both Victoria's Secret and Breast Cancer awareness...(coincidence?) This third Sunday of Advent, let PINK be a reminder to us that we need to be patient with ourselves and each other and at the same time, we need to be on fire for the coming of the Kingdom of God. How we accomplish both those virtues, I'm not sure...maybe it's a day by day thing. But I'll be happy to work for Kingdom with you.
Happy Pink Sunday!