Life Flows Through Change, Not Around It

The first lines of the first reading are especially apt in this Advent during a pandemic: “Comfort my people…speak tenderly to Jerusalem and proclaim that her service is at an end.” As an old Testament reading, this text seeks to console the Israelites in exile. God is holding a people heartbroken at the loss of their kingdom. He is saying their kingdom is not the only way. He invites the people, through Isaiah, to make space for another way for God to come.

In light of the coming of Jesus, John the Baptist employs the next verse in the same text to show those waiting for the Messiah that the way is going to change again. Both Jerusalem and John the Baptist are not needed today in the same way.

How often do we cling to “the way things have always been”? This Advent and Christmas need to look very different from our usual way. Will we let God comfort us and show us a new way to anticipate and welcome Jesus?

Comforting Spirit, wrap your cloak around our disappointment, resistance, and grief. Allow our tears to fall on your shoulders, and open us to the new ways we can long for you in Advent during a pandemic. Our usual family and church traditions are not the only way to touch and taste our longing for you. Prepare the way in us so we can meet you here in what is. Amen.

CCCB Reflection