Happy and blessed 2nd Sunday of Advent.  Today’s readings, and our pastor’s homily thereafter, were so beautiful and comforting.  And I needed them so very much.  I’ve been feeling like I’ve fallen into a deep ravine and can’t get out.  Just as I was feeling so ready to move forward with my life, I’ve been brought down with a lot of grief.  Such grief as I have not felt in a long while now.  It’s hard not to panic a little.  To wonder whether I will ever make it back up and be able to continue on my journey. And honestly, it’s hard not to feel a little forsaken. Does God care? Will He help me? Will anybody?

And what do I hear at Mass today?  From the Old Testament:

God has commanded
that every lofty mountain be made low,
and that the age-old depths and gorges
be filled to level ground,
that Israel may advance secure in the glory of God.

Baruch 5:6-7

And from the New Testament (a quotation from the Old Testament):

Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

Luke 3:5

From the Psalm:

Those who sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.

Psalm 126:5-6

And from the Epistle:

I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it
until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

See what I mean?  I like the parts about depths and gorges being filled, and about coming back rejoicing.  One line from the Baruch reading says that the people are “rejoicing that they are remembered by God” (Bar. 5:5).  These are people who have suffered captivity, exile, diaspora, and other tragedies.  People who had probably suffered more than me.  And God did not forget them–he will never forget any of us, no matter what.  He will rescue us and lift us up.  We can have complete confidence in Him, as St. Paul does.

Looking at my life, I know that God would not bring me this far just to drop me in a hole and let me rot there.  Thinking about it like a rational person, I can see how absurd a fear that is.  But, because I’m irrational sometimes, and stubborn, and a bit dense, I just need to be told over… and over… and over again.  And God and the Church are very good about that.  They never get tired and impatient.  They know how I am made.  They know how we all are made.

I have to say though, I have no doubt that the Advent season is working its wonders in me.  Father said that Advent exists to shake us from our complacency, to make us realize what we are lacking, and to fill us with an intense longing for Christ and Heaven.  That’s definitely going on with me!

I’m so happy that my parish is offering extra opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration during Advent.  That really has filled a great need for me.  It’s like a fresh oasis in everyday life.

And we get a Holy Day of Obligation this week, and for once, it’s not transferred to Sunday!  I always consider that a bonus.  It’s 8 December–the Immaculate Conception.  I look forward to that!

So, anyway, I’m feeling happier and much better now.  I hope it’s a happy and blessed week for all of you!