December 5, 2017
“The Congregation of the Resurrection announces and gives witness to the Paschal Mystery.” These words comprise the first sentence of the mission statement of the Resurrectionists. Like all Christians, the Resurrectionists are able to accomplish this mission because they hope that God has the power and will to bring about, in us, new life from suffering and death. We see this theme in each of our readings this 2nd weekend of Advent.
Our first reading from the prophet Isaiah is meant to give hope to the people of Israel who had spent 70 years in exile in Babylon. Through the prophet, God announces that a way will be prepared for the people of Israel to return to Jerusalem: a straight way will be made through the wilderness, valleys will be filled in, mountains and hills will be made low, rugged land will be leveled, and rough country will be altered into a broad valley. As the people of Israel look to the future, they now look with hope that God will take care of them, just as a shepherd feeds his flock, and gathers his lambs into his arms, carrying them in his bosom.
Our second reading from 2 Peter reminds us that as we wait in hope for the day of the Lord, we should be eager to be “found without spot or blemish.” Looking forward to the future when the fullness of God’s righteousness will be revealed, Peter asks, “What sort of persons ought you to be?” In other words, what should we change in our lives in anticipation of what is to come? If the fullness of God’s reign is, as the psalm suggests, a time when “kindness and truth shall meet, and justice and peace shall kiss,” should our lives not reflect kindness, truth, justice, and peace NOW in a way that anticipates what is to come?
Our Gospel reveals the inauguration of the Good News through John the Baptist. Just as God prepared a pathway for the people of Israel to return to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon, John the Baptist is preparing the pathway for the One who is THE WAY. Through a commitment to conform ourselves ever more closely to his WAY, we will live now in the manner that is fulfilling in this life and anticipates the fullness of all that we hope for in the future of the fullness of God’s reign.