Second Sunday of Advent, Cycle A

Our readings for Sunday are here

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the Masses of

  • December 4, 2016 10AM
  • December 8, 2013

The poems Fr Dennis references this year are:

  • November, 1967 by Joyce Sutphen in 2016
  • Wild Geese by Charles Goodrich in 2013
  • Advent (for nelson mandela) by r. russeth

In 2016, we reflected that —

  • Waiting in Advent is
    • Expectation as hopeful waiting; God is present to us now and newly (and past … and future)
    • Waiting more peacefully as we look back on all that we have been given, in thanksgiving; waiting in hope is what sees us through these times
    • A practical sense of keeping hope alive with
      • a daily process of prayer
      • Sundays – 🙂 to see who would be there; seeing them there (good and bad), silent needs, and the community as a whole — we take strength and learn from one another.
      • rl notes the final comment about Sundays is significantly more poignant with our recent pandemic experience; how hard it was not to see each other … or our body language.
  • Joyce Sutphen’s November, 1967 poem captures our sense of gratitude for things in the past … in film, poetry, life, … We learn from the old and past to indeed be hopeful that God can bring about the miraculous.
  • It is like the shoot that springs from the stump: David.  Exile is a dead stump that brings forth life; it’s not logical.  🙂  But God can do remarkable, miraculous things … like bring out a new king, Jesus.  And God is constantly doing these remarkable, miraculous things.
  • There is the scary and encouraging line re chaff thrown into the unquenchable fire.  The unquenchable fire is like the burning bush: God’s light and heat in people without destruction.  (In a different homily once, Fr Dennis reminded us that John the Baptist was off the mark about the nature of Jesus as more condemnatory than the relatively gregarious, humorous, peaceful encounters we hear about.)
  • We are called to look for hopefulness, not just “better.”  Life goes on — remarkable things go on and arise, even out of things seeming dead.

In 2013, we reflected that —

  • Wild Geese is a bit like the work-a-day commitment of John the Baptist to his role, helping people prepare the way.  He preaches character and repentance — which is pretty hard work in preparation of Jesus and the Baptism of Holy Spirit and Fire He will bring.
  • Advent (for Nelson Mandela) by richard russeth offers the nobility and hope of the promise of Isaiah for Nelson Mandela, who had recently passed in 2013. Sorry … the text of this poem had been hard to find ten years ago. I had no luck this year.

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