“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!” The longing in the voice of the prophet Isaiah in the first reading is unmistakable and poignant. The longing for the coming of the Savior penetrates the Advent air as we cry out with Isaiah these same words. This desire, this cry is bursting forth from our hearts as well as our lips. We recognize our need. We recognize our unworthiness. But because God’s promise of grace is there, we know God is faithful and WILL rend the heavens and come down to us, to our world.
A warning rings forth from the gospel though as Jesus proclaims: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.” There are so many “comings” on our horizon, so many warnings to wake up, be on our guard, be alert, watch and wait, look to the heavens. He is coming! He comes and he comes and he comes. Over and over again, Jesus comes into our lives and into our world. We live in perpetual Advent and it contains joy and it contains wondering and it contains hope.
As we look at our world today, our country, we might even say to God as Isaiah did in the first reading: “Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful.” We see wars, terrorism, brutality and greed in our world. Refugees are fleeing their homes, people are trafficked, the earth is weeping with sadness as it is being abused, life is disrespected, and on and on we could go. Is this what we have done with what God created and “saw that it was good”? Sometimes it looks so bleak, and yet God comes. Advent brings new hope, new life, the God-life back into our view and we know beyond a doubt that salvation will come and darkness and evil will not prevail. They may seem to have the upper hand but they will not win.
So, we keep watching and waiting…alert, with the eyes of the heart fixed on the promise, on the word of Jesus. He is coming and will ever come. He came and he is here. But Advent is the song of the disciple of Jesus, so we continue to sing it. He came but he will still come. What a great mystery is this coming! Let’s be alert and watch, for he is coming soon!
-Sr. Patricia Brady
Sisters of St. Mary of Namur . 241 Lafayette Avenue . Buffalo, New York 14213 . (716) 884-8221