Waiting in Hope
Third Sunday Of Advent
December 11, 2022
During Advent, Dominicans around the world are focusing attention on Myanmar in this Month of Peace for our Order. Our Advent preaching will come to us from our Dominican Brothers and Sisters around the world, honoring the land of Myanmar in their current struggle.
"Do not trust in princes, beings of dust that cannot save; they breathe out the spirit and return to dust, on that day their plans perish" (Psalm 145).
The words of the psalmist are as forceful as they come. All the more reason why they resonate in the hearts of so many millions of innocent people subjected to the yoke of tyrants and despotic lords of the day, who sow horror through terror and all kinds of abuses.
Dictators, when are you going to learn that there is only one God, the one who made heaven and Earth and has called us all to life?
If the supposed exploits you perpetrate are at the cost of making tears flow in the little and poor of this world, in provoking anger in the young, in destabilizing entire families, in generating misery, illiteracy . . . you are the spoils of evil and therefore a caricature of what it means to be a man.
"Go and tell John: the lame walk, the blind regain their sight."
This is the Good News, without additives, preservatives, or coloring that we demand for the leaders of Myanmar and all those countries whose political and economic leaders use power as a cover for wickedness.
COMMENT ON THE WORD
REJOICE: BE JOYFUL!
3rd Sunday of Advent . . . of waiting, of HOPE.
I ask myself and I ask you—Is it possible to make such an invitation without hurting our interlocutors who, with no art or part, have been forced to live in absolutely Dantesque scenarios, such as those suffering in Myanmar?
I look to the right: ethnic conflicts.
I look to the left: military coup d'état with the consequent sowing of terror, massacres, torture.
In the face of such barbarism, millions of human beings have been forced to leave their homes and thus become exiles, labeled as displaced persons.
And I ask again, given such a situation, is it permissible for us to invite the people of Myanmar to rejoice?
Is this not a bourgeois approach, the fruit of the welfare society which, at all costs, strives to be happy, no matter who falls?
The hordes of evil sometimes kidnap our hope, with the aim of sealing our eyes so as not to see the glory of our God; they block our ears so as not to be able to hear words of life; they paralyze our feet to prevent us from running after the one who has been and is our rescue and therefore the reason for leaving behind all sorrow and affliction.
With all that has been argued above, I now respond to the question of the legitimacy of the invitation made above: It is not only possible, but it is urgent to announce that JESUS CHRIST is the JOY for every human being, no matter how he is and wherever he is.
This is not a balsamic ointment for topical use. This would be a prudish, prudish approach.
JESUS CHRIST is your joy, my joy, the joy of the whole cosmos, because he has dressed death in ignominy, reduced to shame and dishonor. Another order of life is possible.
He who formed the eye has given us back our sight to be able to contemplate through our retina a million shades of color, the possibility of rising from our prostrations and to walk with honesty and cooperation the adventure that is proposed to us, that of being re-created, because who has the last word of our life is the Word itself . . . How not to announce at all times and on all occasions the best news of all times and societies?
Brothers, there is a HERE AND NOW fruitful of life. It is time to strengthen weak hands, to strengthen wavering knees; to say to the restless: Be strong, do not be afraid. God is coming in person and will save you.
As a Muslim proverb says: God sees a black fly on a black stone on a black night.
Yes! Joy is possible, that which no one has the ability to snatch from us, because it emanates from the very heart of the Father, resounding in our hearts and channeling it through songs of jubilation and praise, because the Lord rescues his little ones.
Blessed are those who are not scandalized by the Good News!
PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL
R/ WE PRAY TO YOU LORD JESUS
For the People of God in Myanmar, that it may be a Church going forth, prophetic in the proclamation of the Good News that is Jesus Christ, denouncing all that is injustice. O/
Send, Lord, to these lands of Southeast Asia, wise people, committed to justice and peace, who with their actions and decisions will dynamite every tribal struggle, every denial of freedom, so that acting from respect and moderation, they may be promoters of growth in all aspects of this people. O/
Life is dressed in drama but it is not a tragedy. For those who mourn their personal, family, and national situation, so that they may base their hope in the Lord who is near, our freedom par excellence.
For all of us who have been invited to savor the Word and delight in the Banquet of the Body and Blood of the Lord, so that we may live in permanent THANKSGIVING. O/
PROCLAIM . . . THE DEAD ARE RAISED TO LIFE
For all those who have died to this carnal reality, many of them in armed confrontations, in the most absolute solitude, so that now re-created in the Lord of Life, they may eternally contemplate his Glory.
by Sr. M ª Ángeles Calleja Cidoncha, OP
St. Catherine of Siena Monastery Paterna (Valencia) SPAIN