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December 23

December 23, 2014

Angel in WinterrScripture for Today

O Emmanuel,
ruler and lawgiver,
desire of the nations,
Savior of all people,
Come and set us free, Lord our God.
About the O Antiphons

We are all called to be a prophetic witness in the world. Dare we say: “Prepare the way”? The call of the prophet is radical and simple. Radical in the sense that much of what the prophet does is on the periphery and for those living in the periphery. The prophet often stands alone. It is also simple because there are no flashy billboards or praise. The work of the prophet is often rejected; the prophet’s very self denied. I don’t know anyone who would really sign up for the job. Rather, they respond to the pull toward God, which is so strong that they cannot see themselves doing anything else. And usually, someone whom we might think is prophetic does not see themselves in that light. Their humility is what makes their calling authentic.

John the Baptist had such a calling as he prepared the way. The key to a prophet is that it isn’t about them. John was pointing toward the one to come – the child of the new covenant. This is Advent hope! God is with us in a manner never before experienced in history. A God is born as a vulnerable baby, intimately sharing in the human experience.

I believe each person has a unique, prophetic call to share in our world. Without it, part of God’s plan is not brought into the light. We, like John, continue to prepare the way. We sometimes are fearful of working on the periphery and bringing God’s plan out into the open. Will I be rejected? Will I have to stand alone? And yet, all that we are called to do is point toward the Beloved. It is not about us, nor is it about what we do. It is always toward Emmanuel, God With Us.

O Emmanuel,
you are with us,
on the periphery
standing with hope and love.

 I long to know my calling
of how to be a unique presence
to our wounded world.

With humility,
I open my heart
to your plan.

I long for your radical
and simple presence.

May my relationship with you
allow Advent hope
to grow in my heart
and point toward the
God, who is Love.

–Linda Buck, CSJ

Photograph by Clare T. Pelkey CSJ