Advent –Christ is Coming–Change is Coming

ADVENT–CHRIST IS COMING-AND A CHANGE IN LIVING

Jeremiah 33:14-16; I Thess. 3:12-4:2; Luke 21:25-38; 34-36

This Sunday we begin our journey through Advent. The season of Advent is often referred to as the time where we prepare for the birth of Christ. When I think about Advent I often think about the song from the musical Godspell “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” It is as if we are waiting for the Christ to come to us. Yet the word Advent comes from the Latin ‘advenio’, which literally means to ‘come to.’ We seem to spend a great deal of our time waiting for Christ to come to us. Perhaps this Advent season we should consider “coming to” Christ instead waiting for Christ to come to us. What does this mean, “to come to Christ?” In the second reading we are told: “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts” The only way to come to Christ is to “abound in love… for all”

In his book Everything Must Change, Brian McLaren discusses how Jesus over and over talks about the kingdom of God. He says: “We consider how this message of the kingdom – contrary to popular belief – was not focused on how to escape this world and its problems by going to heaven after death, but instead was focused on how God’s will could be done on Earth.” He goes on to say: “We described God’s kingdom in terms of God’s dreams coming true for this earth, of God’s justice and peace replacing earth’s injustice and harmony.”

This Advent let us imagine what this Kingdom of God on Earth will look like. What would happen if we truly believed that we are all the “Body of Christ” as we often proclaim? Will it be a world where we will “abound in Love for one another” and for all creation? As Brian McLaren says: “If Jesus’ message of the Kingdom of God is true then everything must change.”

And change must come through us. Last night we served meal after meal to people on the street; one after another told us  it was the only meal they had had on this day of Thanksgiving.  In the City of St.Francis people go hungry; we served meals in a shelter–and people were on a waiting list to come into sleep–thousands sleep outside;  there was an article in the Santa Cruz paper this week saying that 44 per cent of the population in the area is homeless; L.A. has declared a state of emergency for homelessness; and the list goes on and on.The Kingdom of God begins with you and I–each of us are called to responsibility for the suffering on the streets.

One of our favorite series of  movies is The Hunger Games Trilogy.  It is a reflection of the mood of our time and says a lot about where we are and where we may be going, and holds out hope. It is not a Christian movie, but the Gospel is present.  During Advent we will be doing a retreat which  is entitled: “The Hunger Games and the Gospel, based upon the book: The Hunger Games and the Gospel by Julie Clawson.  We will put  reflections in our journal a couple times a week. If you would like to have a discussion and further reflections email us  at punkpriest1@gmail.com.  We are eating one meal a day during this penitent season as a reminder of all who go without food on our streets.  

We need to move away from looking at ourselves, putting the blame on others, and depending on others to take care of those who are on our streets. We need to get involved, get our hands dirty.  We need to “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!”  Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!

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