First Sunday of Advent
December 1, 2019
Sr Phyllis Jaszkowiak
St. Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th century mystic, has this to say to us: “God is music; God is life that nurtures every creature in its kind. Our God is the song of the angel throng and the splendor of secret ways hid from all humankind. God our life is the life of all.”
The gospel today asks us to be aware, be awake, for “we do not know the day or the hour.” We need to be aware that God is here right now. We need to be aware to see God in our midst. Again as St. Hildegard says, “God our life is the life of all.”
Look around this Church, notice who is here – faithful people who come week after week. Notice the children, notice their sparkle, their mischievousness, their joy in being alive. Notice the good work our parish does for others, our St. Vincent DePaul Society, our work for the Oak Leaf mobile home park, and now The Arbor mobile home park, our actions with Living Cully and Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good, (MACG).
God is here among us, doing all these things through us. We just need to be aware and open ourselves to be faithful conduits of God’s goodness.
God is at work to bring the world to peace not war, to bring light not darkness, to bring compassion and love not hatred and greed. God is at work to bring hope to this world so in need of hope right now. We can help in this evolution or hinder it. We just need to be aware of what we are doing, and how we are doing it.
So when the time comes, and God calls, will we hear it and respond? Will we be awake and aware to the change to which God calls us?
It probably won’t be the end of the world. It will probably be the end of an era and the beginning of another one. Isaiah prophesied in such a time, calling his people to listen to what God is doing, “that God may instruct us in God’s ways, and we may walk in God’s paths.”
Mary McGlone says, “Advent ushers us into the challenge of believing that the world as we know it is not what God intends and that God wills to help us do better. Advent invites us to invest our hearts and hands and feet into active hope in God’s days to come.”
We need to be awake and aware, listening to God’s music of creation, so that in this time of change the good is strengthened and the bad is let go. Our parish and the world is changing and is calling out to us to strengthen community, cooperation, dignity for all, and hope. This takes knowing the truth, and then the courage in bringing goodness and love to our world, and calm, loving resistance to all that is not God’s will for the world.
As St. Paul says, “Let us throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” So that, as Isaiah says, “[We] shall beat [our] swords into plowshares, and [our] spears into pruning hooks: one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall [we] train for war again.”
And as Jesus says, “Therefore, stay awake!”