Second Sunday of Advent [A]
December 5, 2010
Reflection on the Second Reading
Openness to others is a constant theme of the Sacred Liturgy throughout Advent and Christmas. This is easiest to see by considering the very different forms of welcome that Jesus received. At one extreme is the Annunciation. The Blessed Virgin Mary gave her “Yes” to God the Father with complete openness. For her, being open to God the Father’s divine will meant being open to God the Son dwelling within her, through the power of God the Holy Spirit. Each of us is called to be just as open to the divine Will, no matter what God the Father may ask.
At the other extreme, we hear in the narratives from the first chapters of Matthew and Luke that there were many others who were not open to the Son of God: for example, the innkeepers in Bethlehem, and King Herod. Every sin and every vice that we admit within ourselves imitates their rejection of God’s divine Will.
But if we switch this theme completely around, we can reflect on Advent and Christmas not from the perspective of varying human responses to Christ, but from God’s response to human sin. God the Father wanted to send Christ into our world, so that, through the Cross, each human person could be welcomed into Heaven. God’s openness to man, in spite of our sinfulness, is the model for all human generosity and hospitality.
Sunday’s Second Reading from Romans contains a phrase that’s easy to overlook: “Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.” Be open in your life not only to God, but to others. And model your openness to others on the openness of God’s divine will. Love others with the same love that God the Father had for us in sending us His divine Son.