First Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
In our first reading today we have these words from the Prophet Isaiah, "Lord, we are the clay and you are the potter. We are all the work of your hands."
Maybe instead of clay, let’s use the image of a pumpkin. Because we are like pumpkins, God lifts us up, takes us in, and washes all the dirt off of us. Then he opens us up, touches us deep inside, and scoops out all of the yucky stuff – including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and violence. Then He carves a beautiful smiling face on us and puts His light inside of each of us to shine for all the world to see. But first we have to say, "Yes."
What would the world look like if everyone said, "Yes" to the Divine Potter and let him shape and form us? To be formed and shaped by the Divine Potter is to be formed and shaped into the image and likeness of Christ.
So we come here to Mass to reflect on Christ’s words and actions. It is his Word that forms us, and his Body and Blood that nourishes us to be more and more like him.
This Advent season we take our cue from Mary. When asked to be the mother of the Savior, she said that powerful word, "Yes." At Mass we sing our "Yes" at the great "Amen" at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer. We proclaim our "Yes" when we say "Amen" and receive Holy Communion. We give ourselves to God and ask him to receive us, mold us, shape us, form us, and come to dwell within us.
Then each person we come in contact with will feel the Lord’s presence in their life. Every day can be Christmas.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/