I stood in the grocery line and wondered why the cashier was ignoring the customer…
“Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.
A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
the rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Go up on to a high mountain,
Zion, herald of glad tidings;
cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Fear not to cry out
and say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD,
who rules by his strong arm;
here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.”
– Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11, the First Reading for the Second Sunday of Advent
Sisters, we have such a compassionate God! It blows my mind every time I stop and really reflect on it! Who is this God who is so great and majestic and yet so full of mercy and concern for me?! He speaks tenderly to my heart as He spoke tenderly all those years ago to Jerusalem through His faithful prophets. And, like Jerusalem, I must hear His words of comfort and liberation, let them seep into my very being, and then go forth as a herald to share them with anyone who will listen!
I am called to boldly speak truth into hopelessness, fear, death, poverty, loneliness, addiction, shame, and all the rest, “Here is YOUR God! He is coming to you with power, not to judge or harm, but to lift you out of the darkness that surrounds you. Let him gather you and carry you gently against His heart that beats with love for you. Let Him lead you home with care.”
Sisters, there is an urgency to this message. A quick scroll through your Facebook feed, 5 minutes of the nightly news, or a cursory glance at the statistics on alcohol and drug abuse, reveal a world that is very much in need of this message, a world that is aching to be comforted. Our world needs to hear that the God who we go to Church to worship, who we receive in the Blessed Sacrament, isn’t just our God, He is their God. He is for them, each of them, in a unique, personal, individual way. And He is also for us collectively, as a human family, the people He made in His own image and likeness. “Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together…”
We are each called, by virtue of our Baptism, to be the voice in the desert crying out. The work of preparing the way of the Lord did not end with the prophets of the Old Testament or with John the Baptist, this is our work too. We are to be prophets of Christ’s second coming. This is the prophetic work that Advent annually reawakens us to.
Where am I being called to clear away the hatred and lies of the wasteland, to lay out the Truth as a highway for God to more easily enter into the hearts of all those He so desperately loves?
What valleys of pain or loneliness am I closest to that I can fill in with love and hope through a thoughtful word or a simple act of kindness?
What hills of self importance or mountains of pride are standing in my own heart that need to be made low?
What changes must I make in my own heart and habits so that the glory of God can be revealed to the world through my life?
Will you share this Truth with just one person in an intentional way today? There is no time to lose in telling others that God’s merciful love is awaiting them, that He is for them, that He is making a way in the darkness and His glory will be revealed!
Copyright 2020, Megan Gettinger