Advent – Cycle C

Second Sunday of Advent – Cycle C

11 December 2012

Reflecting on Luke 3: 1-6

The Preaching of St. John the Baptist by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Recently, a friend gave me a birthday card that told some of the significant events that were occurring around the time of my birth.  I now know the President of the U.S.A., most popular song, and Best Movie the year I was born.  I am a product of the times in which I have lived. I like looking at my life from the lens of history.

St. Luke likes this too, and we begin our year-long reading of his gospel by being placed right into the historical setting of Israel, circa 27A.D.  We now know, thanks to him, that at the time of John’s ministry in the wilderness (which for Luke closes the time of waiting which the Old Testament prophets endured) there were some very dark, malevolent people on thrones in Judea and Galilee.  Not only are the Roman emperor, and Judean governor, and tetrarchs of the Galilee and Judea named, but the high priests in Jerusalem are also noted.  Each of these officials will play a much larger part in the history of the world than even Caesar imagined, for they participated in the unfolding of salvation history, which is eternal.

In the midst of all this pomp and treachery we hear a voice from far in the desert, crying out, “Prepare a way for the Lord!” He is a ragged man, this John.  He knows something; he senses that the One is drawing near.  As the rest of the Roman Empire busily raises up valleys and clears roadways for the coming of some officious bureaucrat, John demands that we raise the valleys of our lost hopes, and chisel down the mountains of our hardened hearts.  The King is coming.

What would YOU like to say about this question, or today’s readings, or any of the columns from the past year? The sacred conversations are setting a Pentecost fire! Register here today and join the conversation.

I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

First Sunday of Advent – Cycle C

1 December 2012

Presenting Megan and Micah Brewster

We had a family wedding last week, and I’m still dancing.  The beautiful, love-drunk bride and groom were so aglow with joy that the candle-lit church was no match for the light that radiated from them. They pronounced their vows to each other so graciously.  They were thrilled to bind themselves to each other, believing that those bonds will free them to love others even more perfectly.

Afterwards, at the reception, there was dancing.  Ecstatic, fun, hilarious dancing.  A sweet, eighteen-year-old cousin took turns twirling all his little cousins around and around, and as soon as they were spun out they ran right back to get in line to be twirled all over again.

Can you recall this delicious thrill of childhood, of being on a ride at a carnival and being utterly delighted, yet filled with dread of the moment the ride came to an end? As the great John Kavanaugh (he of blessed memory) wrote, the childhood we never leave is suspended between devastation and delight.

Advent is like that.  In the ever-quickening darkness we light the first candle.  We re-member (make happen again) the exhilaration of being weightless on a planet pulled by gravity.  We have already been the child whose ride finally ended.  We are not yet the child whose ride will never end.

Come, oh Child of wonder.  Come.

And congratulations, Megan and Micah.  Dance.

What would YOU like to say about this question, or today’s readings, or any of the columns from the past year? The sacred conversations are setting a Pentecost fire! Register here today and join the conversation.

I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

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