Romans 13:11-14 You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Reflection What an invitation for the first Sunday in Advent, the first day of our liturgical year! “Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day… put on the Lord Jesus the Christ.” Yes. It is time for us to take responsibility for our divine inheritance, Christ within us.”
If you are wondering,“How?” I have an invitation for each one of us. Let us begin this liturgical year by saying “Yes, I choose to actively participate in the revelation of God’s presence every single day.” This year I invite you to consciously and conscientiously hold yourselves accountable to be the Holy Women and Holy Men we are intended to be because God has always depended on us humans to do God’s bidding.
Our world is crying out to be changed and God depends on each of us to act decisively to turn things around for the good of all. This is the same message the illegitimate peasant son of Mary, Jesus brings to life in the world of the ancient mideast. The kingdom of God is meant to be right here in the dust and dirt we stand on. The kingdom of God is meant to heal the sick, feed the hungry and release the oppressed. The kingdom of God depends on each of us to act decisively for the good of all.
It is that simple and really hard. Surely it was hard for teenage Mary to say Yes to God and accept her unplanned pregnancy as a supreme blessing. It had to be hard for Joseph to say Yes to God and receive rather than reject his pregnant fiancee Mary and then respond to God’s dream message to escape with Mary and her baby to Egypt to avoid Herod’s scheme to kill all male infants. It must have been hard for Jesus whose own mother and siblings thought he was crazy and whose best friends abandoned him when things got really heated to carry on alone.
But standing up, saying “Yes” and stepping out to reveal God’s presence is not the sole purview of famous Biblical characters. In the wake of the 9/11 tragedy we witnessed the best of our humanity. Then President Bush reported, "We have seen our national character in eloquent acts of sacrifice. Inside the World Trade Center, one man who could have saved himself stayed until the end at the side of his quadriplegic friend. A beloved priest died giving the last rites to a firefighter. Two office workers, finding a disabled stranger, carried her down sixty-eight floors to safety.”
Dr. Paul Farmer says Yes and steps out to reveal God’s presence in the world. “He works about two months a year in Boston, MA where he heads the Infectious Disease program at Harvard Medical School but the rest of the year he spends most of his time in Haiti, a poverty ridden country with no affordable health care, treating the "disposable people" of the world. Why? His faith compels him to help those less fortunate than himself.”
Our world is crying out to be changed and God depends on each of us to act decisively to turn things around for the good of all. And so, this liturgical year I invite you to join me saying Yes and stepping out every single day and doing one small thing to change our world. To make this very easy, throughout the month of December you can sign up to receive a short email blast first thing every morning. The one for today reads like this:
"A year of revealing God’s love every day.
The next time you receive a text, email or call today, tell the person who sent it something you appreciate about them." If you are not already on Apostles' email list please send a request to admin@ovapostles with “Revealing God’s Love Every Day” on the subject line. Let's step out and change our world.
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