adviento 1: aguanta

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down (Isaiah 64:1-9)

The first Sunday in Advent was a Saturday for me. I spent last weekend staying with a religious community in Rosario, and we went to misa on Saturday evening in the chapel of the school-that-was-once-an orphanage where my friends live. It was one of the sister's birthday and so after the mass, a crowd gathered at the house for birthday cake, tea and maté. Someone played música folklórica on the guitar and others danced between the kitchen and the hall.

In the middle of the festivities, I chatted with one of the sisters. We talked about the limitations placed on women by the Church - some subtle, some more upfront. We wondered how to discern when we should wait and when we should act; when to keep our head down, and when to speak out.

The theme of the first week of Advent is hope, or more accurately, hopeful waiting. It is not an endless, fruitless wait but a time of preparation for what is to come. In the reading from Mark 13, Jesus warns his disciples to 'Keep awake!' They, like us, are to be wired up, alert to change, and ready to act.

So how are we to know when to hold on (aguanta), and when to act? We know that to preach (hopeless) patience is often to be complicit with injustice. Instead, God calls us to watch for the tearing of the heavens, the coming of justice. More than that, God calls us to be justice-makers.

This week,
May we hope for God's coming (this, this is Christmas).
May we discern God's call for peace and justice.
May we hold on to each other.
And may we act with love, tearing open a way between heaven and earth.

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This week's Bible readings.