Phone: 216-696-6525

Toll Free: 1-800-869-6525

Address: 1404 East 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114

Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic
News

  Share this Page

Back to news list

Second Sunday of Advent — Dec. 4, 2022

Bishop’s Reflections

December 4, 2022

Every Sunday, Bishop Edward Malesic writes a Scripture reflection for the faithful. Follow the bishop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click HERE for the readings.

Second Sunday of Advent — Dec. 4, 2022

Walk through a forest and you will see the stumps of many fallen trees. Yet, look more closely, and often there is a sign of new life. You might see a shoot of green coming up from the stump. What looks dead can still give life; in fact, a decomposing stump becomes the soil of life. There is hope.

Today’s First Reading from prophet Isaiah talks about a shoot sprouting from the stump of Jesse. For us as Christians, we find this to be the anticipation of the new life that comes to us in Jesus many centuries later. What is dead and in darkness has been replaced by life and light. Jesus has come to give us a future full of hope.

In our psalm for today, we cry out for justice and peace. Even in the midst of war, violence, and all types of injustice, we know the remedy will come. We have hope. If fact, the shoot pointing to the future Kingdom of God is already growing from the stump of this world’s decay.

Even in our spiritual lives we can have hope. Sin deals death, but there is always the possibility of new life in us. A new green life-giving shoot can sprout from even the most serious sins of our past, but how? John said it in his preaching and Jesus repeated it when he began his own public ministry: “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Yes, to turn away from the darkness and to turn to the light, in other words, to repent, is the direction that gives hope to us.

When life becomes dull, dark, and depressing — it is often a sign that we must stop looking downward and backward and begin to look forward and upward. We can reach up to Jesus who is already reaching down to pour his life into us once again. So have hope. Advent is the season of hope because it points us to the birth of Jesus, who has come to us as our savior, but he comes to us in many other ways over and over again — especially in the Blessed Sacrament of the Holy Mass.

All those people in today’s Gospel were approaching John to be baptized by him as they acknowledged their sins, but Jesus gives us more — he not only washes our sins away in his mercy; he also replaces our sins with the newness of the divine life itself, baptizing us with the life-giving bath of the Holy Spirit. God wants to dwell within us, and when God does dwell within us, the growth that is possible in us is amazing — it reaches up to Heaven itself.

Advent is sometimes called a mini-Lent. We see that in the purple worn by the clergy and sometimes decorating our churches in both Advent and Lent. Purple is a sign of repentance. Repentance is a sign of hope — our past can be forgiven and our future can be secured. There is no sin greater than the power of God to give life.

So we are called to let go of the dead stump of our past and reach toward our future. There is a kingdom that Jesus has come to prepare for us, a kingdom of peace and justice and the glory of God. Ultimately, Jesus is preparing us to be saints. We can see God’s kingdom already becoming present in the sprouting up of the good works of our Church and the individual acts of kindness we show to one another as we shed off the old self and put on the new self of Jesus Christ. May the life in us, God’s life dwelling in us, spread out to the world around us, and, just as John the Baptist did, may it help us to prepare the way of the Lord for others to see and embrace for themselves.

Have a blessed week everyone.

Subscribe! Sign up to receive news & updates.

Share This

Close

Photo Gallery

1 of 22