Second Sunday of Advent
Have you heard about “God’s dream for the world”? Hello, I’m Father Greg Friedman, and this is the “Sunday Soundbite” for the Second Sunday of Advent.
That phrase—God’s dream for the world—is a favorite expression of a colleague of mine. He uses it to describe how he interprets Scripture passages like those from Isaiah and St. Paul in today’s liturgy. My friend says that God’s dream for the world is a vision of all of creation—reconciled, at peace, full of the justice and harmony intended for it by our Creator.
Isaiah’s “peaceable kingdom”—a scene favored by artists, where the lion and the lamb play together—is an expression of what God envisions for all of us: the beautiful earth, healed of the ravages of greed and pollution; humanity living according to God’s wisdom, understanding, justice. St. Paul encourages the gentile Christians of the Church at Rome to see themselves united with Paul’s Jewish brothers and sisters in coming together to praise God.
Accomplishing this dream of God means a real and radical change of heart, true conversion. Such change doesn’t come easy, as we know. Just look around at our world—or better yet, we might look inside our own hearts. We need the prophetic “wake-up call” of John the Baptist in Matthew’s Gospel today to summon us to conversion. We will need God’s grace and power, present in Jesus Christ.