December 4, 2016 — Second Sunday of Advent
IS 11: 1-10; PS 72: 1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17; ROM 15: 4-9; MT 3: 1-12
St. Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, our Second Reading on this Second Sunday of Advent: “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another.” That statement is prayer-like, something that Paul tends to do in his letters, because Paul recognizes and knows that it is only through the Holy Spirit that each of can find that internal conversion to have the same endurance and patience to achieve the harmony for which we seek.
That in part is what we are striving for during this Advent season. Often, especially at this time of year, we are in a hurry. God may seem to work too slowly for us. God’s plan is based upon patience and endurance. Paul continues that we need to “…welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you.” Christ does indeed welcome us with all our faults and our sins as well. Throughout His ministry the Lord called us to treat one another, to love one another, as He treats and loves us.
As part of our Advent journey we need to work toward finding that same love in our hearts that the Lord feels for us. First, we need to recognize and accept that love. Then we need to seek the conversion that allows us to translate that love into our treatment of others. This is, in effect, what stewardship is all about — to glorify God in our actions by thinking of others first, by sharing who and what we are.