“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
It is December and the early days of Advent. I love Advent and welcome its coming. It is darkness yielding to light in the early morning as I wake and welcome a new day. It is candles I light in my wreath each early morn to dispel December’s gloom and welcome the new day.
This year, I need the hope of Advent and its days of longing, prayerful waiting and renewal. I need to find myself again in the joy of rebirth filling this season. Isaiah calls me to be just, faithful and a woman of peace, to listen and treasure the voice of the poor. Matthew calls me to listen, trust and rebuild my inner house with faith and trust in God. I have known and loved these words in Advent’s past. This year, they are solace and new blessing to dispel the darkness of my early December days.
—Mary Burke-Peterson is a parishioner at St. Nicholas Church, Evanston, an active volunteer in the Ignatian Spirituality Project, and a graduate student at Institute for Pastoral Studies at Loyola University.
Holy God, stir again in my heart these Advent days.
Help me to listen and reflect.
Send me your hope and grace.
Show me your face!
—a Carmelite sister