Written on: December 1, 2020
Give comfort to my people says our God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. In the desert, prepare the way of the Lord. (Isaiah 40: 1-3)
“Advent provides us with beautiful scriptural passages each week. In our prayer and reflection, we try to focus on a few sentences that strike us. Allow me to share some of what challenged me.” Sr. Mary Courts, GNSH
How are we challenged to speak tenderly to others? And to be kind to others during such a difficult time? We look at the reading and think to ourselves, “How?” In such a time that this is, knowing how uncomfortable everyone is, how are we called to give comfort? God promised that every mountain will be filled and every hill made low. What are our own hills and mountains that need to be made low so that we can see the Lord and respond to His graces?
We see and feel the Lord who has really infused the gifts of kindness and mercy and many others within us. “Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.” (Ps 85:10) These things can happen- even in our suffering world today- as a result of our using those gifts!
St. Peter writes: “The Lord does not delay his promise. . . He is patient with you.” (2PT 3:9)
How do we come to believe that God is patient? How do we ourselves become patient in these trying times? Patience, too, is infused within us. All we have to do is ask God for it; God will help us with it. He challenges us to bring peace to everyone, but we can only bring peace through the gifts and graces God has given us.
Mark quotes Isaiah, “I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way.” (MK 1:2)
John the Baptist appears in the desert, proclaiming the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin. John says, “I baptize with water. The one who is coming will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mk 1: 2-4, 8)
We are called to be messengers, to scoop out those places of un-forgiveness in ourselves so that we can recognize the Holy Spirit in our lives and share that Holy Spirit with others.
Sr. Mary Courts, GNSH is a Philadelphia native who spent the majority of her religious life ministering in New York. Sister Mary was both a teacher and principal in areas such as Buffalo, Jackson Heights and Philadelphia. She later developed an interest in helping others through spiritual direction and by directing retreats. Since returning to Philadelphia in 2010, Sr. Mary has enjoyed keeping up with community and friends both here and in NY.
Feature photo courtesy of Jeremy Bishop/Unsplash