The wisdom and guidance of Pope Francis is amazing. In his Angelus address yesterday on the second Sunday of Advent, he referred to the proclamation of John the Baptist: “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Pope Francis called it a “joyful proclamation” central to all Christian mission. He stated that to proclaim Jesus is to announce that “the kingdom of God is among you.” It is not a dusty message to the people over 2,000 years ago. No, it is a living message but it does require conversion.
The Pope challenged us “Be converted every day, one step forward every day.” Conversion is possible, practical and daily in our work, family, civic and religious communities. As Dominican Associates of Peace in mission with the Dominican Sisters, we have the daily opportunities to preach the Gospel with our lives and move one step forward every day. Through prayer, study, community and ministry, we can recognize the presence of God now, not sometime in the future.
Our common understanding of Advent is that it is a time of waiting, preparing, fasting and repenting. But in addition to these behaviors, it is a time of recognizing the kingdom of God among us and it is a time of doing. It is a time of observation and contemplation and action in which we recognize the beauty and joy of today and share it with others.