NOTE: We’ll be posting the reflection for the upcoming Sunday of Advent usually on the Tuesday before, and then re-posting the reflection on Saturday evening. This is the second reflection of the 2015 Advent season.
by Beatrice Parwatikar
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
Baruch tells us to put on the beauty of God’s glory and let go of our sorrow and distress. Luke reminds us that Isaiah’s message was fulfilled in John the Baptist through his proclaiming the message from his desert experience. Proclaiming a message of justice should be spoken by someone who is speaking from a place of peace within. People who are seeking justice for themselves and others need to take time for personal prayer, for group prayer, and for personal reflection.
It saddens me to say there are many injustices in the world but we are not called to work on all of them. We are bombarded every day through all types of media of the cruelties and injustices of the world. But we must choose what we will act on, because we can become overwhelmed if we try to respond to everything–leading to inactivity, sadness or burnout. It is extremely important to discern what weighs heavily on your heart and mind, and then choose to work on that injustice. You are now ready to speak with authority on your beliefs. Words spoken from the truth of one’s heart touches others’ hearts and moves them to action.
Prayer and reflective readings are one way to continue to stay in touch with God’s grace and strength. This will enable us to try to understand “the why” of the people and the institutions that have caused the injustice. It is important not to become bitter, because this will have an effect on your inner peace, which is the inner strength you need for one’s work. Being part of a prayer group and being able to share one’s inner feelings with others sends a message that we are not alone in seeking to straighten the paths of injustice. Journaling is another important tool to help maintain inner peace.
Name what renews your inner strength: People, places, activities?
Do you take ‘desert’ time? Do you use prayer as part of your social justice work?
* This reflection is from Hoping, Seeking and Demanding Justice: Reflections for Advent 2003 by Beatrice Parwatikar. For reflections for everyday of Advent and the holy days of the Christmas season, you can purchase and download an e-reader version of The Promise of Light: Reflections for Advent 2015 by clicking here.