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The Advent Word: Yes

The Advent Word

[caption id="attachment_3513" align="alignright" width="200"]Blog by Sr. Janet Schlichting, OP Blog by Sr. Janet Schlicting, OP[/caption] Politically, it's been a long, long year. Elections are over, and Advent comes with its longings, its dreams, its assurances. Peace, comfort, promise of ways made smooth, of rejoicing and gladness. We've just celebrated Gaudete Sunday. Rejoice! Do the liturgical readings ring true for you? Are you able to believe the prophets' visions? After all the political tumult, the revelation that America's unity, the "American dream" is a sham, that has shown starkly to us the cracks and the crevices that divide us, the jagged peaks and sinkholes of anger and fear, do you believe in the possibility of healing and wholeness, the testimony of prophets and the Gospel to the unity of humankind? Do we, faithful Dominicans, seekers and preachers of Truth, wonder where - or if - the truth can be found? Do we find ourselves weak of heart and thin of voice? Do we have fears about the direction our nation has turned, the road we are on, and feel a loss of energy for involvement, because, apparently, with all our effort we have made so little difference? Is there Good News this Advent? In a world where for so many the roads of their lives have become trails of tears and terror? In a world where people leave all they own and cherish to follow a path to freedom only to find themselves stopped at barbed-wire barriers and languishing in refugee camps, is there salvation? In our own country where nights are shattered by gunshots and the fabric of so many families is in tatters, is there peace to be found? In our own cities, where again, beggars stand on street corners with their cardboard signs, is there truly a banquet for all?

Say Yes!

Yes. Simply and profoundly, yes. In and through the power and love of Jesus crucified and risen. On every way in the wilderness and on every way of the cross and every path humanity has walked, and on the road promised, the "straight highway" to joy everlasting. Yes. We have been baptized into Yes. We have professed it as Dominicans in our vows and our promises. Can we, who are pilgrims with the rest of humanity, ourselves troubled with doubts and frightened by our own flashes of vengeful thinking, support the fragile anAdvent Wreathd the limping even as we ourselves limp, offer freedom and courage when some days we struggle to keep ourselves moving? Can we be eyes for the blind, ears for the deaf, forgivers who do not extract reparations, and singers of the songs of the redeemed? Yes. By the power of the Gospel, given into our care, we bear the title preacher, and as we often say, offer the Good News from the various pulpits - and limits - of our lives. Where we live and work, where we struggle and suffer - here, kindness and truth meet. Yes. Here, justice and peace kiss. Here, we are namers of grace.   Yes. In this season of Word Incarnate, the one who loves humanity so faithfully and so fiercely, who has taken flesh and lived among us and has left us a Spirit of Life and Power never to leave us, we are able to say Yes, to live Yes, and to become Yes, for the life of the world.

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