By Father Russ Mower
Special to The Texas Catholic
One of the things I love about Advent is the daily reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. These are readings of God’s promise, they cast a vision of peace and beauty, and they give us what we need most right now…HOPE.
I recently read that dictionary.com selected “pandemic” as their word of the year. That is not exactly a surprise, but pandemic is just the tip of the iceberg for us, or so it seems.
This has been a year of nasty political fights, contested elections, peaceful and no-so-peaceful protests, economic turmoil, and the list goes on. If ever our world needed hope, now is surely the time. Perhaps, like the people of two millennia past, we wish for a mighty ruler, a warrior king, who could wipe 2020 away with his mighty sword, who could restore order with bellowing voice. We want deliverance. In God’s infinite wisdom, He does not give us what we ask for, but He gives us what we need. A child. Born of a virgin. Innocent. Humble. He reminds us of who we were, and where we long to return. Kings honor him, simple shepherds adore him, the child who brings peace.
Each year Advent gives us the chance to start over, to reboot, beginning in a stable in Bethlehem. Each year we say that we are really going to reflect on God’s providence and spend more time in prayer. Each year we say we are really going to prepare for the coming of the Savior. But each year we seem to get wrapped up in buying gifts, planning parties, traveling, decorating and the like. This year seems different. Our current situation has forced us to slow down, to take stock, to spend time at home with our families. It has given us time to prepare for the child. I pray that this Advent season will bring you peace.
“For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:5)
Father Russ Mower is the pastor of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church in Oak Cliff.