By Marie Dennis
Jeremiah 33:14-16 | Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14 | 1 Thessalonians 3:12—4:2 | Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves” (Luke 21:25).
Encouraged to read the signs of the times and to prepare for the coming of a Savior, we enter Advent in awe and more than a little anxious. Even a cursory glance at the state of our world reveals good reasons for concern: war, threats of war, and numerous, dreadful consequences of war; disinformation, enemy-making, and exclusion; an unthinkable gap worldwide between the 1% and the 99%, with millions of people living in absolute poverty; and increasingly visible signs of ecological catastrophe.
“But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand” (Luke 21:28). Do we dare to believe this Promise—and what does it mean?
We who have heard the Story before listen with renewed hope and settle into the waiting-time when the “not yet” of New Creation begins again to quiver in anticipation.
Hope defines our waiting. Unbounded love, we know, will transform the ordinary and extraordinary struggles of daily life—for survival, for dignity, for beauty, for meaning, for integrity. God-with-us will restore the damaged relationships of our lives; bring the beloveds now excluded from the fullness of life to the banquet table; and carry to fruition all our work for peace on Earth.
In these times, new meaning permeates the possibilities. Slowly we are beginning to imagine that the groaning of all creation may in fact bear fruit—that the One we await is the Cosmic Christ, who will help us once and for all to decipher and respond with integrity to the “signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars . . . and the roaring of the sea and the waves.”
Reflection: Take some time to reflect on the “signs of our times.” Where do you find hope in the day-by-day journey of life?
This reflection is from Voices of Hope, Women of Wisdom: Reflections for Advent 2012. This booklet is available and can be ordered online here. Marie Dennis is the Co-President of Pax Christi International.