Advent Week 3: Reflections

Advent Week 3: Reflections from the House of Studies

By: Brother Nicholas Reynolds, O.P.
Advent_3
Rejoice!…
“The blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.”
It’s Gaudate Sunday! We, as a people, have been waiting in the dark, waiting with hope for the coming of the Lord, and it’s almost dawn as Christ the eternal Sun begins to emerge and rise before us. Rejoice!
In the reading from Genesis, The people of Israel have such hope and trust in God. Here them echo, “The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song….Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not!”
Be Joyful? The desert will exult? The last time I heard the Sahara was still a desert. The last I heard, wars ravage our world.  The eyes of the blind will be opened? The lame will leap like a stag?  Be Joyful? You have got to be joking!? We can only imagine what was going on in the era in which Genesis was written, but they had hope and patience. Even though they would never see that day, they saw the day they longed for in their hearts.

Jesus fulfills the promise we hear in Genesis. “The blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” The day has come to the Jewish people. For us as Christians, as we continue to wait for Christ in His birth this Christmas and His second coming, we wait with hope for the coming of that day, but that day is here and that day is now, for that day is already within us. At the end of every mass the priest or deacon using one of the dismissal options exclaims, “Go and proclaim the Gospel with your life.”

The day is now for us. We are not prophets of the future, but prophets of the moment. Open the eyes who are blind to God’s presence. Make the lame leap for joy as you let them know they are still beloved children of God. Open the ears of those who need to hear God’s mercy. Raise the dead hearts of those who have lost hope in God. Finally, proclaim the Good news to those who are poor and in need of nourishment.

Have hope, for the day that we’ve all wished to see is now, before us, among us, and within us.
 
Have hope, for without hope there is no joy, and be joyful that you might be a light for others as we wait for Christ to fulfill our hopes for healing and peace.
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