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EDITOR’S NOTE: This reflection by Cláudio Carvalhaes is part of the 2019 Growing the Light: Advent Reflections on Farmworker Justice.
In the cyclical celebrations of the Christian faith, Advent is a time of newness, a time to be prepared for the arrival of that which we couldn’t imagine, that for which we could not prepare enough. The season of Advent helps us prepare our hearts and our communities for the coming of Emmanuel, God with us. It is the time when love conquers fear, God fills us with courage, and our minds are cleared as we gain consciousness of something bigger, more important, more necessary.
Texts - Today - Emmanuel - Jesus - Awareness
The texts for today are preparing us for the coming of Emmanuel. The coming of Jesus is surrounded by awareness and preparedness. In Isaiah 7:10-16, we read that the coming of Emmanuel will be a process of transformation, one that will prepare the child to learn how to “refuse the evil and choose the good.” Thus, the arrival of Emmanuel is about a season of discernment, a time to see, listen, ponder, judge what is good and right, and act.
The times we live in are so confusing. We hear about fake news, climate change, and the condemnation of the poor. So much of our time is enveloped in anger and violence. Powerful voices try to convince us to blame those who are actually fighting for our common good. If we continue to get confused between what is good and what is evil, we and our land will continue to live in dread. Sometimes our beliefs don’t draw us into these processes of discernment. We get stuck, and we end up feeling lost and angry and fearful.
Christians - Advent - Time - News - Love
For Christians, Advent is a time to open ourselves up again to the good news of love coming our way, again...
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There's no problem on the inside of a kid that the outside of a dog can't cure.