Second Sunday of Advent
December 8, 2019
Isaiah 11:1-10; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12

“Not by appearance shall God judge, nor by hearsay shall God decide, but God shall judge the poor with justice.” Isaiah 11:3-4

“John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.”  Matthew 3:4

Beyond John’s appearance, he preached in the desert. Not a castle. John wore camel’s hair and a leather belt. Not an Armani suit. He ate locusts and wild honey. Not champagne and caviar.

We often judge people like John by their appearance, or where they work, where they live or what they drive. We judge those currently or formerly in prison. We look with disdain on the homeless or youth with sagging pants or gold teeth or those with natural hair styles like braids or locs.

Since Pope Francis assumed the papacy in March 2013, I have been impressed with how much he downplays his public image and focuses on servant leadership, as John the Baptist and Christ did. For example, on his election day, Pope Francis took the bus back to his hotel, rather than be driven. He chooses to live in the Vatican guest house instead of the Apostolic Palace, and he often drives a modest Ford Focus rather than larger vehicles his predecessors chose. He has visited various penitentiaries, including a Philadelphia detention center during his 2015 U.S. visit.

With John the Baptist, Pope Francis, and Jesus as models, how can I intentionally focus on seeing past people’s exterior to respect everyone’s human dignity? For example, how can I do my part to transform the criminal justice system so that innocent boys will never again be falsely imprisoned because of their skin color? Watch the “When They See Us” official movie trailer:

Reflection by Dr. Vicki Lott

E-version The Time to Be Awake Cover
Order the e-version of the Advent reflection booklet today. We also have some print booklets left.                                                                                                                                           

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