Second Sunday of Advent
December 8, 2019
Have you heard about “God’s dream for the world”? Hello, I’m Franciscan 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 to describe how he interprets Scripture passages like those from Isaiah and Saint 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 by God’s wisdom, understanding, justice. Saint Paul encourages the Gentile Christians of the Church at Rome to see themselves united with Paul’s Jewish brothers and sisters in praising God.
Accomplishing this dream of God means a real and radical change of heart–true conversion. And such change doesn’t come easy, as we know. Just look around at our world, or better yet look inside our own hearts. We need the prophetic “wake-up call” of John the Baptist in today’s Gospel to summon us to conversion. We need to welcome God’s grace and power–present in Jesus Christ–in order to become part of God’s dream for the world.