Finding Acceptance in a World of Opposites

Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent by FAN Board Member, Sr. Marge Wissman, OSF

This reflection was originally posted in our December 2nd newsletter

The purpose of Advent is to welcome Jesus. In order to fulfill this we must reach out to welcome one another or we really don’t welcome Jesus. All the readings for this second Sunday of Advent center on reconciliation and the conditions set down by Jesus. As stated in the second reading “Welcome one another as I welcomed you.” (ROM 15:7)

Even John the Baptist who in the Gospel called the Pharisees and Sadducees a “brood of vipers” also adds that there is still hope for them because “God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones”. Are there people in our lives who are like stones and we think we will never reach them? Are we stones?

Isaiah announces reconciliation in a symbolic way by using direct opposites: “the wolf and the lamb; the leopard and the goat; the calf and the young lion; bear and the cow; the lion and the ox.” And the most direct opposite of all – a baby playing in a cobra’s den. The Native Americans have a belief called the Rule of Opposites – opposite energies. Whenever we do something we need to consider the opposite also. This practice will help us achieve harmony and balance. Even though it may seem impossible but if we look closely, we can discover a place where our paths cross and we can agree or remain civil and disagree. It seems that the society we live in now is so polarized. Does this reading and this season encourage us to find acceptance of all in our hearts?

Where do we find the courage to do this? John the Baptist made it clear that he was here to give a baptism of repentance. He knew and always said that he was preparing the world for Christ and he never strayed from this message. He was preparing them for the baptism with the Holy Spirit. It is a baptism that signifies the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – the Fire of Love. This spirit will rest upon Jesus and anyone who receives his Baptism: the Baptism of the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge and fear of the Lord. Receiving this Baptism will help us have a change of heart toward many opposites with whom we sit. Then we will be accepting one another as God accepts all of us.

Sr. Marge Wissman, OSF
FAN Board Member

Published in: on December 3, 2019 at 9:04 am  Leave a Comment  

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