|Diocese of St. Augustine|
CAMPUS PADRE Offers food for thought
Second Sunday of Advent
Because we are preparing to celebrate the birth of the Incarnate Son of God, it is essential that we pray and reflect on God’s love for each of us, and what transformative effect that is or is not having in our souls, our lives and the world around us. There must be no doubt in us that, “God so loved the world that he sent his only Son…” “And the Word was made flesh, and came to live among us,” because although it sounds great on a religious greeting card and in Christmas Carols, the truth of those words must be effective in the depths of our being, or they are meaningless and empty sentiment.
We are also preparing for that time when he will come again, because we desire to be ready to be recognized by our Savior and to receive our promised reward of eternal life in union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Not only filled with the desire to be ready, but also eager to prepare the way of the Lord for others. For our message to be credible, our witness must be irreproachable. Like John we are called to be recognizably people of holiness and integrity as disciples of Christ and children of the living God. We are called to learn and to teach. We are called to repent and call to repentance. We are called to love and call others to love.” We must be models of radical transformation in our way of thinking, living and loving. It means a conversion, a real turning around, a re-directing of one’s whole life.
The letters of Saint Paul are all oriented toward teaching us how to allow that transformation to happen and the way in which we are called to live as Saints. Today, St. Peter encourages us in our efforts, reminding us that “since everything is to be dissolved…, what sort of persons ought you to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God”. God wants us to do our best, not by our own ability but in the power and grace of our Lord, to live lives without spot or stain so that, when He comes, He will find us full of peace and not racked with fear of judgment. The knowledge of the coming of the Lord and judgement does not leave his authentic disciples filled with fear and anxiety but, for those who ‘listen to him’ and ‘act on this word’, they are filled with a lasting joyful anticipation. The fruit of everyday living the Way, truth and life of Christ is a real and abiding interior peace. Transformation is a work of God within us, but it involves our active involvement, especially in removing all the obstacles that get in the way of God’s work.
The liturgy reminds us of this every time we come to Mass, when we trace the sign of the cross, 3 times, on our bodies. In the outward sign of crossing our forehead, lips, and heart, we are praying and affirming our desire that the Word of God to pierce our mind, lips, and hearts. We cross our forehead so that the Word of God may be in our thoughts and purify our minds. We cross our lips so that our speech may be holy and incline us to share the Gospel with others. And we cross our hearts to invite God to strengthen our love for Him and others. All of this is so that we might know, proclaim, and love Jesus Christ all the more.
Peace doesn't just happen; it's made.
CampusPadre is a college ministry Priest Chaplain with 30 years experience in youth and young adult ministry, who strives to let the Holy Spirit lead and challenges students to seek holiness above all.