Friday, December 7, 2018

Dee Kittany Has Something To Say Dec. 9th 2018 2nd Sunday of Advent

Advent II – Year C       9 December 2018

As 21st century urban dwellers, we easily recognize that our lives often unfold according to paradoxical signals and sentiments. Liturgically and spiritually, we savor the season of Advent, a time of hopeful waiting and an opportunity to cultivate patience and peacefulness.  Meanwhile, our secular milieu has been rushing headlong into Christmas since the first week of November.

Because Advent is part of the end-piece of our Gregorian calendar, it provides a natural prompt toward prayerful introspection. Whether we consider it the spiritual warm-up for celebrating the appearance of God-among-us at Christmas or for writing New Year’s resolutions, these weeks are rife with memories along with a generous portion of wishes, dreams and hopes. And perhaps we begin to wonder whether we should think of our lives as linear or cyclic.

It doesn’t take long to realize that the answer is “both/and” rather than “either/or” and this lifts our spirits and taps into the heart of the gift of being.

The cyclic character is manifested in our individual lives and in the levels of history.  We have a three-year cycle of Scripture readings, part of the story of our salvation.  But every time we return to the readings, we are different, thanks to the trajectory of our unique individual lives. The readings we will hear this coming Sunday remind us of our shared and timeless inheritance across millennia. And they still hold the promise! 

  • The psalmist reminds us that The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy!
  • Baruch offers the assurance that God is leading Israel in joy by the light of his glory, with his mercy and justice for company.
  • And Luke proclaims: The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
How we need to hear those words and hold them close to us in these troubled and confusing times!  They speak to us and belong to us as surely as to those who first wrote them.

The ever-widening circle that is our life and the life of the world draws us toward its Center, the one true Source of all that is good and holy and is Love itself.  That is the linearity, the one true path to which all are called and welcomed.

The writer Madeleine L’Engle describes this exquisite invitation:
As we move into Advent we are called to listen, something we seldom take time to do in this frenetic world of over-activity. But waiting for birth, waiting for death – these are listening times, when the normal distractions of life have lost their power to take us away from God’s call to center in Christ.  Advent is not a time to declare, but to listen, to listen to whatever God may want to tell us through the singing of the stars, the quickening of a baby, the gallantry of a dying man.

Dee Kittany has been a member of St. Francis Xavier parish and our music ministry since 1994. She is a music teacher/choral director and former Campus Minister at Xavier High School. A native of Arkansas, she first met Ignatius (and the Jesuits) while pursuing graduate degrees at Saint Louis University and Loyola University Chicago.

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