First Sunday of Advent
November 29, 2020
The box-office success of the film version of J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings introduced thousands of moviegoers to the fantasy world of “Middle Earth.” The characters who inhabit this world move between despair and hope. Their hope comes in part because of the prophecies in the story that promise the triumph of good over evil.
Our world seems often to be at the mercy of the forces of evil. We’ve learned to fear the sudden, unexpected violence that can strike close to home. Where do we find hope?
As Christians, our answer comes in the Scriptures we read during the Advent season. In the First Reading today, Isaiah utters a hope-filled prayer, imploring God to intervene in our world. “Watchful waiting” is the command of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel today, and we might ask ourselves: “Why wait and watch unless we also have some hope that God will indeed intervene in our world?”
But isn’t that the way Christians are to be? We’re a people who lives in the world, yet awaits God’s revelation of a new and glorious world to come. To live that way means transforming our relationships with one another and with the world around us. It means making choices that reflect the life that Christ has given each of us. Such a life is better than any fantasy story might promise.