“Once upon a time,“
“Algun dia,” someday,” “somehow,“ “someone” will pull it together. These coming weeks of Advent celebrate possibilities… “On that day,” says the prophet Isaiah, a vision of the ways things can be will be realized. But wait. There is more. Our imaginations are tickled with a time to come when all God’s children can dwell together in harmony. this season polishes our imagination for an alternative to the cable news. The old Pepsi commercial turned a key in the US American soul twenty years ago, “I’d like to teach to world to sing in perfect harmony.” I do not know if it sold more soda pop. But it raised the question of this season, “How come? “Why not?” Does it have to take so long for us to find one another and to live in harmony? We dream of another way of being human and of living on our mother the earth in Advent. But first we must lean away from all the noise for some quality dream time.
The southwestern desert has its own Advent character. The desert easily clears a space for Christmas longings. A highway across the desert is an amazing thing. Large machinery crafted I-10 to LA. Only the Hebrew imagination leveled the desert of Israel to make the journey home to Jerusalem more palatable. Can we not hold back a little on the decorating as we start Advent? Keep the space of our homes clear and simple to celebrate the nativity with more sparkle. Linger in Advent, since our culture tends to ignore the season and jump into Christmas in late October. Carols mark Advent’s four weeks – this year just over three and a Sunday. The familiar lyrics and melodies are known best, “by heart.”
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal asks that in Advent the organ and other musical instruments be used with a “moderation,” a sense of restraint that allows the Christmas season to be a time of greater celebration. “Restraint” is a lovely word for all of us…in the first weeks of this ancient season. Hold back a little in some simplicity and silence these first weeks….to let the nativity of the Lord emerge slowly and in a impassioned crescendo. Epiphany, the week or so after December 25th is another time for the full Christmas feasting even the last Christmas gift. Can we keep our culture from shoving this feast into one day? It is too big and beautiful.
We move this year into Cycle B with the Sunday readings and a focus on the Gospel of Mark. It is the shortest Gospel. We can use these sacred texts for Bible study and prayer throughout the season. There is no infancy story in Mark. He just gets down to business and begins his Gospel with Jesus ‘ call to repentance. Turn around. Clean out a space for some new dreams and for a few deeper hopes.
Solemn Evening prayer at 5PM each Sunday in our beautiful church for the three Sundays of Advent. Join us. There are “Soup and Study” for the coming two Wednesday evenings 6PM – 8:30 in the parish hall. The Guadalupe Serenade on December 11th from 7:30 – 9:30PM will taste the rhythms and flavors of the Lady of Guadalupe. The brave and bold plan to join our sister parish of Immaculate Heart Parish down Washington for the Midnight Mass & Mañanitas. A penance Service gathers us on Tuesday Dec. 20th at 7PM to savor God’s forgiveness and be reconciled with one another.
A gentle week,
Fr. Michael Weldon, OFM