From Give Us This Day, published by Liturgical Press for December 7, 2017
The Paradox and the Promise
When I proclaim the Advent Gospels during Mass, I hold on to the book for dear life. I do so because I am profoundly aware of the paradoxes and precarious paths the Gospels take us in this unique season of longing. The Word is rock and surety. However, we all must become vulnerable as infants and trusting as apprentices in these Advent days.
As I open my mouth to fill the Church with the Holy Word, I witness the widower sitting alone in the front pew months after his wife’s death. With his cane at his side, he aches for a sure-footed future for his children and grandchildren. I see a wide-shouldered, high school hero who wept uncontrollably at his mother’s funeral last week. I notice a recently sober woman, heavy red lipstick covering her quivering lips. Her tears reveal her search for Jesus in her newly found humility.
Advent reveals our search for Jesus. We all receive the Word, sometimes with deflecting hearts and hardened attitudes. Jesus invites us to be humble enough to accept the rock-like nature of love, forgiveness, and peace. This is the promise of Jesus, the paradox that forms our lives. We are to become humble believers in Advent. When we follow out of our need and longing, we are certain to find our way to the manger again, where hope for our lives becomes a sure thing.
Fr. Ronald Raab
Ronald Patrick Raab, CSC, is pastor of the Tri-Community Catholic Parish in Colorado Springs. He formerly served as associate pastor at Saint Andre Bessette Church in Old Town, Portland, Oregon. Learn more at http://www.ronaldraab.com.