Friday, December 07, 2007

Second Sunday of Advent Year A

Second Sunday of Advent Year A
December 7, 2007 - 9:00 PM Mass St. Vincent’s Chapel
The Catholic University of America

No hope
No future
No joy No happiness
Nothing but Despair
Kind of like rotting log,
a trunk of a tree lying on the ground
it appears to no longer contain any trace of life
It is dead
Dead and waiting to decay

The Prophet Isaiah is describing the terrible time in which he lived
Israel was affluent in his youth but fallen to the Assyrians
Judah later became the pawn of foreign powers
And even with all the compromises they had made with their neighbors
They too had fallen on very hard times later
All appeared lost
No reason to hope
Like the dead stump of a tree

But Isaiah promises
that one day from this dead stump
There will appear the tiniest of shoots.
It will seem like a miracle

All will not be lost
And as this tiny shoot continues to grow and develop
It will become clear that there is still indeed life
Life in the stump of Jesses

Jesses was the father of David,
the Shepherd boy who would later become King David
And in this beautiful text Isaiah prophesies the coming of the Messiah
And the founding of the God’s kingdom (God’s holy Mountain)

And as he writes he ponders what the Kingdom of God could be like
A world radically transformed by the power and love of God

Can you imagine a world where
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
the calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them

Can you imagine A world where justice reigns supreme
A world covered as if by the water
with the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord.
You know
When water covers something it seeps into every little crack and cranny

The world of which Isaiah prophesies is a world saturated with God’s wisdom and God’s will

Holy Ones
Sometimes It is so easy for us to lose hope
It is so easy for to think that the trunk of the tree which lies on the ground is dead

In a world where violence is so present
In a world where a poor deranged lonely man can go into a shopping mall and just kill people

In a world which suffers with the holocaust of abortion every day
A holocaust which has taken its greatest toll on your generation.

In an affluent world where a few have so much
and so many have so little

In a world like ours it is so easy to ask ourselves is there any hope
Are we a stump
Is there any life left ?

It is so easy for us to believe that the world can never be a better place
It is so easy for us to think that we can never be freed
or forgiven of our sins

I’m sure that is how Isaiah felt
As his world fell apart and as his country disintegrated

But God placed in his heart this incredible prophecy
Of a world transformed by the power of love

Hope is the quintessential Christian virtue
The foundation on which our faith rests

Hope enables us to live through
and endure difficult times
Awful times

Hope gives us something to hold on to when all seems lost

Pope Benedict in his new encyclical states
Hope is more than just the belief that things will get better
Hope is the conviction that we are loved and cherished by God

And If we even for a moment understand how loved and cherished we are then our lives will never be the same.

What can touch us ?
What can harm us ?
What should we fear ?
What can we fear ?

We are not dead stumps
And our world is not a dead stump
There is always hope
We are loved by God indeed

Even on exam week

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