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Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent

Barbara Hecht

Meditation helps me practice watchful waiting or being “present to the present.” It’s not easy and doesn’t come naturally to me. I don’t think I’m alone in experiencing this challenge. A friend once described her experience of meditation as feeling as though she wanted to “jump out of her skin”

I find that when I surrender to the challenge of being quiet and attentive, I do witness God’s presence. Driving back from CSH yesterday morning, I decided to be quiet, not turn on the radio, and just be present. I knew I would have 1/2 hour to sit and be. Hmmm... Should I fill the time by going to get a 2nd cup of tea? As I came to a traffic light and pulled up behind a salesperson’s car, I saw a decal that said, “Discover what you love”. I knew I needed to sit still. I opted against the tea and was delighted to find my email Advent reflections. Inspired, I want to share my gratitude in knowing Who I love and Who loves me...

In today’s readings Isaiah speaks words of comfort and joy in announcing that God’s kingdom is at hand. He invites us to open the wasteland of our souls knowing that God will fill in valleys and smooth obstacles some of which, life has thrown us; many, we have unwittingly erected with our egoic selves. God’s glory will be revealed if we but, crack open the doors of our hearts with the merest desire to trust in God, and then wait and watch. Finally, Isaiah calls us to herald the Good News. 

In the second reading, St. Peter reminds us that time is not time as we understand it. We need to be ready now. Mystics and spiritual teachers tell us that the greatest enemy of the ego is the present moment, which is to say, life itself. 

Mark presents us with John the Baptist, a voice crying in the wilderness of our souls. Throngs of people seek this wild man out, drawn to the truth that he preaches. Jesus’ very presence validates the urgency of the foundational message, the understanding that our egos, left unchecked, block God from moving in our souls and, therefore in our lives. “He must increase, I must decrease.” God is always present. It is we who must make way for Him. 

Photo Credit: Marie-Claire Dugas


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