NOTE: Throughout the Advent season, we’ll post a reflection on the readings for the upcoming Sunday in Advent just a few days before so individuals and groups can reflect in anticipation or incorporate it into their meetings, homilies, etc. The reflection will be available on our homepage through the weekend and then archived on our Advent 2021 webpage.

The reflection below was originally written by Tom Cordaro in 2000 for Advent 2000: Seeing Signs & Wonders. It incorporates the lectionary readings of today, December 10 which is also International Human Rights Day, in its reflection.

by Tom Cordaro

Isaiah 48:17-19 | Matthew 11:16-19

“Wisdom is vindicated by her works.” (Mt 11:19)

Jesus offers us a reflection on our “marketplace mentality”, never more prevalent than at Christmas with our buying and selling, our rejoicing and our privilege, our wealth and our grotesque consumerism.

“Wisdom is vindicated by her works,” says Jesus. Our vindication at Christmas could be the wisdom of our refusal to engage in such obscenities, to offer our children alternatives to this excess gift-giving.

God says, “If only you had hearkened to my commandments, then your peace would have been like a river, your offspring would have been like sand, and your descendants like grains; their names would never be cut off or destroyed from me.”

Do we hearken to the commandments of the Holy One at Christmas? Or do we follow the cultural norms of greed, sitting like children in the marketplace of consumerism? Let us sing a song of sanctity.


In what ways do you witness to an alternative approach to the season of Advent and Christmas?

What concrete things do you do to resist the marketplace mentality so prevalent this time of year?

>> For more Advent resources and reflections, click here.

Image credit: Valentin de Boulogne’s “Expulsion of the Money-Changers from the Temple”

2 thoughts on “Reflection for Human Rights Day, December 10

  1. Might we just let someone know how we appreciate their life and how sharing it with us has been a gift that we acknowledge. Maybe a plant or cluster of smaller plants that we assemble in a pot and paint the the pot itself with images or colors that exude hope and life could be given. Simple heartfelt and heart-generated gifts may lead others to greater self-acceptance and to the realization that little things they say or do are appreciated at a deep level by others—even though they may be totally unaware of this. Peace!

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