Advent 2nd Sunday: Year C [15DEC12] Theme for week 2—Preparation & Love
Readings: Psalm 30, 32 ◊ Isaiah 8:1-15 ◊ 2 Thess. 3:6-18 ◊ Luke 22:31-38
“Make the LORD of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble.” (Isaiah 8:13)
“The LORD says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.’” (Psalm 33:8-9)
All preparation has a starting point—a place of beginning. Advent, the coming of Christ Jesus is our beginning. “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
I’ve been thinking about this idea of beginning places and starting points, how it relates to preparation. One idea I’ve had is that the starting point for my faith journey may not have been with the moment of the Incarnation. The preparation for my Christian experience was muddling around with a bunch of different spiritual experiments and concepts. I discarded this theory though, because all of those experiments failed. They were “sputter” starts and never really launched into anything significant.
I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. (Isaiah 48:17)
I think my real starting point and preparation did begin when I looked to the Incarnation. When I really took Jesus at his word and began to model my life from the beginning point of His condescension (Philippians 2:5-7; John 12:24-26), my journey started. This beginning point was not a failure to launch, but has been met with real change having a true spiritual vision to realize Christ-like transformation. Joan Chittister holds a firm line in her belief that the Coming of Christ is the beginning point of the spiritual journey.
If, focused on the Christ Child at the very beginning of the liturgical year (Advent), we do not have the spiritual vision to see meaning there and to develop it within ourselves, there is nothing else on earth that will ever be able to supply it for us. -Joan Chittister; The Liturgical Year
Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto you. Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God. May divine help always be with us.
Lord of the church, by your unfailing mercy you purify and guard your people. Since without you we cannot stand fast, support and guide us always by your grace.
Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands. Grant us a wholesome life, revive our zeal and love, O Father Almighty, through Jesus Christ the Lord, who reigns with you for all time with the Holy Spirit. Amen.