Wednesday, November 30, 2016

December 4, 2016 - Prepare for the Second Coming of Christ

The Second Sunday of Advent - Year A

Reading I: Isaiah 11:1-10
Response: Psalm 72
Reading II: Romans 15: 4-9
Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12

Last week, we focused on the coming of Jesus as a Emmanuel, God with us.  This week we focus on the second coming of Jesus, as it was predicted by Isaiah who said:            
      Justice shall be the band around his waist,
      and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
      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
 with a little child to guide them.  
     (Isaiah 11:5-6)

When Jesus returns, he comes as a merciful judge.  However, he calls us to justice which is the only way we can have peace. John O’Malley, S.J. said, “Pope Francis is continually pushing us beyond the comforts of our religious boundaries to encounter the one human family.” 

Sometimes, I have felt discouraged about bringing about the Kingdom of God. I say to myself, “What can I do?” Then, I realize that I can make God’s kingdom come in my own heart. That is how it has to happen. It is one person at a time bringing justice and peace to his or her own environment.

However, I am still disturbed that I cannot do more when I see the Native American protesters being put down by the government. They are simply asking that the pipeline carrying oil not go through their land. Signing the petition on their behalf and joining others who oppose the action, does not seem to have helped. Then, I see so many innocent African Americans, even children, being shot practically every day. Concern for the immigrants is also weighing on my heart, not to mention all the atrocities in other countries.

Although I often feel overwhelmed by the situations in our world, I remind myself that God can bring good out of evil. I always appreciate the positive things that newscasters present after sharing the tragic stories. The good done by ordinary people, even little children, gives me hope.

How important this is today! We must continue to reach out in love and care for all our brothers and sisters, the beloved children of our heavenly Father. Jesus came and will come for us all. Jesus is the Lord of All, our Merciful Judge, and our Prince of Peace.

Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...

Prepararse para la Segunda Venida de Cristo

La semana pasada, nos enfocamos en la venida de Jesús como Emmanuel, Dios con nosotros. Esta semana nos centramos en la segunda venida de Jesús, como fue predicho por Isaías quien dijo:
      La justicia será la banda alrededor de su cintura,
      Y la fidelidad un cinturón en sus caderas.
      Entonces el lobo será un huésped del cordero,
      Y el leopardo se acostará con el niño;
      El becerro y el león joven
      Juntos, con un niño pequeño para guiarlos.
     (Isaías 11: 5-6)

Cuando Jesús regresa, viene como un juez misericordioso. Sin embargo, él nos llama a la justicia, que es la única manera en que podemos tener paz. John O'Malley, S.J. Dijo: “El Papa Francisco nos empuja continuamente más allá de las comodidades de nuestras fronteras religiosas para encontrarnos con la única familia humana.”

A veces, me he sentido desalentado acerca de la realización del Reino de Dios. Me digo a mí mismo, “¿Qué puedo hacer?” Entonces, me doy cuenta de que puedo hacer que el reino de Dios venga en mi propio corazón. Así es como tiene que suceder. Es una persona a la vez que trae justicia y paz a su propio ambiente.

Sin embargo, todavía estoy preocupado de que no puedo hacer más cuando veo a los manifestantes nativos americanos que son puestos por el gobierno. Simplemente están pidiendo que la tubería que transporta petróleo no pase por sus tierras. Firmar la petición en su nombre y unirse a otros que se oponen a la acción, no parece haber ayudado. Entonces, veo a tantos afroamericanos inocentes, incluso a niños, siendo asesinados casi todos los días. La preocupación por los inmigrantes también está pesando en mi corazón, por no hablar de todas las atrocidades en otros países.

Aunque a menudo me siento abrumado por las situaciones en nuestro mundo, me recuerdo a mí mismo que Dios puede sacar lo bueno del mal. Siempre aprecio las cosas positivas que presentan los periodistas tras compartir las trágicas historias. El bien hecho por la gente común, incluso los niños pequeños, me da esperanza.

¡Qué importante es esto hoy! Debemos seguir amando y cuidando a todos nuestros hermanos y hermanas, los hijos amados de nuestro Padre celestial. Jesús vino y vendrá por todos nosotros. Jesús es el Señor de todos, nuestro Misericordioso Juez, y nuestro Príncipe de Paz.


  1. “The work of our salvation takes place in the midst of a world that continues to shout, scream, and overwhelm us with its claims and promises. But the promise is hidden in the shoot that sprouts from the stump, a shoot that hardly anyone notices.” – Henri Nouwen
    Dear Sr. Annette,
    I read your blog prior to going to lunch on Wednesday, thus your concerns were fresh in my mind. While waiting in the lunch line in the cafeteria, a song of Michael Jackson’s started playing – “Heal the World.” I nearly dropped the tray - I was so taken by the synchronicity of your words to the message of this song from the 1990’s. This background sets the tone for my post.
    I listened to the words of the song, “There’s a place in your heart and I know that it is love, and this place could be much brighter…There are ways to get there if you care enough for the living. Make a little space, make a better place. Heal the world make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race…”
    I remembered seeing crowds of people on televised performances who held hands and swayed in unison with one another while they listened to this very song. In those moments unity won out over barriers and differences. Group Consciousness held the vision of a unified humanity.
    We have seen similar occurrences throughout the decades as songs about healing the earth, peace, love and harmony served to touch that place in our hearts. Recall how people all over the world come to the assistance of others when disasters and tragedies strike. That place of love in our hearts is the place where Christ resides. Signing a petition to stand up for the rights of our Native American brothers and sisters is a positive step to bring forth justice. It is a statement expressing that you care about those being violated and their plight. Your action validates that their voices are being heard.
    I love the words of Isaiah that you included in your post because it provides a vision of harmony that humanity longs for. The Vision stimulates anticipation of the glorious second coming of Jesus while we prepare at this time to celebrate Christmas - where God, who is the Creator of the Universe, comes to us in smallness, weakness, and hiddenness.
    The following is from a December 2012 daily e-devotional of Henri Nowwen entitled, Anticipating the Vision, which I eagerly share with your readers.
    “The marvelous vision of the peaceable Kingdom, in which all violence has been overcome and all men, women, and children live in loving unity with nature, calls for its realization in our day-to-day lives. Instead of being an escapist dream, it challenges us to anticipate what it promises. Every time we forgive our neighbor, every time we make a child smile, every time we show compassion to a suffering person, every time we arrange a bouquet of flowers, offer care to animals, prevent pollution, create beauty in our
    homes and gardens, and work for peace and justice among peoples and nations we are making the vision come true.

    We must remind one another constantly of the vision. Whenever it comes alive in us we will find new energy to live it out, right where we are. Instead of making us escape real life, this beautiful vision gets us
    involved.” Namaste!

  2. Sr. Therese MW,SBSDecember 2, 2016 at 8:26 AM

    Yes, the liturgy for this Sunday definitely emphasizes the Second Coming of Jesus. It certainly will be a momentous occasion for each and all of us, for which we should prepare as well as possible. The following quotations are from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    "The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then, through his Son, Jesus Christ, he will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvelous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. The Last Judgment will reveal that God's justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God's love is stronger than death." (#1040)

    "At the end of time the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign forever with Christ, glorified in body and soul. The universe itself will be renewed." (#1042)

    The beatific vision, in which God opens himself in an inexhaustible way to the elect, will be the ever-flowing well-spring of happiness, peace, and mutual communion." (#1045)