“Patience, people” is the Advent call. Yet we ended the liturgical year with the call to embrace the stranger, the needy and all those at the bottom of the totem pole (Mt. 25:34ff.). Does patience mean wait, just count on prayer and trust in God to bring change? What happens to the dictum from Matthew for action? Fear not is another constant Biblical urging.
We have a both/and call for this Advent season—a time of COVID, inequalities and injustices with people lacking shelter, food, health access, immigrant/minority fears of ICE and police violence, and disasters from climate warming.
Yes, we need patience together with action from holding onto Love: when violence seeks to destroy us, when prejudice poses as freedom, hold onto love (Jesse Manibusan). We find our healing through kindness, acts of compassion; our way through the darkness of denials in speaking the truth, modeling Gospel wisdom through inclusion and reaching out to our vulnerable such as the immigrant, the feared, the different. We encourage friends to learn and understand the realities of this day, badger our legislators and all in power to cast off their blinders for the sake of the well-being of everyone.