Seasonal Reflection:  Advent, 2019

Reflecting on Peace


As we all know, the meaning of Advent is “coming.” For Christians at this time of year, the “coming” to which Advent refers is the coming of Jesus. Chances are most of us have grown up thinking Advent refers to the coming of the Infant Jesus, but a little research will tell us that that is only half the story. In this day and age when Jesus has already come as a baby, Advent also refers to his second coming.

We know how we prepare for Jesus’s first coming, which is Christmas. In our secular lives, we may decorate, buy and wrap gifts, write cards, and bake. In our faith lives, we may light the candles of an Advent wreath, read scripture and seasonal reflections, and pray. We may also use a religious Advent calendar or a Jesse tree to guide us through the days leading up to Christmas.

But what about Christ’s second coming? Do we even think of it? If so, what do we do about it? Tradition tells us we should pray, fast, and repent much as we do in Lent. But in the interim time in which we live, maybe we can think of it a little differently. What would we like to see coming? How can we prepare for that?

I suspect most, if not all, of us would welcome the coming of a more just and peaceful world. We’d welcome a world in which all people live together in harmony, love, compassion, and mercy, a world in which all people feel valued. We’d welcome a world in which all have equal access to excellent health care, education, housing, and employment. We’d welcome an environment free of pollution, dangerous climate change, clean energy, and endangered species.

So how about making this Advent a season of preparation for the coming of a world more like the one God intended for us when God gifted us with Jesus? How about each of us picks at least one thing we can do to help make the world more Christ-like? Could it be that the second coming is at least partially our responsibility? Let’s do what we can to bring it about.

Let this last half of Ordinary Time be a season of Hope, of revitalized commitment to helping make this world the beautiful, safe, secure, peaceful place God created it to be. And let’s be sure to listen, truly listen to the children and act on their lead.

 



An Advent Prayer for
Peace


Lord, in a season when every heart should be happy and light, many of us are struggling with the heaviness of life—burdens that steal the joy right out of our stockings. Tragedy arrives as innocent victims suffer, and an inner voice whispers, “Be afraid!” We need your peace, Jesus. We confess that our hearts are too often filled with wonder of a different kind: wondering when the bills will be paid, when the terror will stop, when rest will come. Will it ever? Is the message still true?

In a world where worry, not peace, prevails, stir up that good news again. This Advent, make it real in our hearts. Never have we needed Your joy and peace more than now…. We not only need Your peace and joy; Lord, we crave it. You’ve promised rest for the weary, victory for the battle-scarred, peace for the anxious, and acceptance for the broken hearted…. Help us find that peace with You and then help us extend that peace to others. You are still our Joy. You are still our Peace. You are no longer a babe in the manger. You are our Teacher, our Guide, our Inspiration. We celebrate You. We thank You—now and always.

~Adapted from Rebecca Barlow Jordan's “A Prayer for Peace & Joy at Christmas

https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/12-advent-prayers.html




Suggested Actions

  • - Celebrate Advent with prayer, fasting, and repentance. Keep an Advent wreath, calendar, or Jesse tree in your home. Use it as part of your prayer and reflection on scripture.

  • - Choose one action you can take throughout Advent to help bring about the coming of a more just and peaceful world. Go back to the reflection above for ideas or create your own. Whatever issue you select, learn as much as you can, educate others about it, then consider writing or calling legislators, signing petitions, joining a march or rally, or think of something new and different to do. Use art, drama, literature; you decide based on your talents and skills.

    - Share Pax Christi Metro New York’s anti-war toy flier to encourage anyone who buys gifts for children to buy gifts that promote creative thinking, cooperation, and physical activity.

  • - Join and stay on top of things through PCMNY’s email action alert network and online at our: website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

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Reflection Archives

2019:   Ordinary Time Fall Summer  Easter  Lent  Winter  2018:  Christmas  Advent  Ordinary Time Fall  Summer  Easter  Lent  Ordinary Time
     

 

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