Advent Sunday Week 1 - Luke 21:25-28 , 34-36
By Catherine Migel , LCSW , Jesuit Volunteer Corps , Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest , Catholic Charities
2021 has been an anxious year for many , including for me . We have continued to protect ourselves and our communities against COVID-19 but are worried that it has not been eradicated . Loved ones have faced illness and difficulty healing . Friends have sought new jobs after pandemic layoffs , worried about new responsibilities and lingering debts . As a social worker , I have held the concerns of clients closely , hoping to accompany them through their fears . I have offered therapeutic techniques to manage stress and reduce anxiety . But we still worry , I still worry . How do I stay steady through these kinds of storms ? How do we wait for the rainbow ?
This story reminds me how rooted anxiety and anticipation really are , both in humanity and in the Advent season . In a way , I find this calming , knowing that I am not alone in the very human feelings of worry . There is power in the way Luke names those feelings head on and doesn ’ t shy away from the reality of a world in panic , a world not unlike the one we live in each day . Yet he tells us to find strength and stand upright amid such struggle , as the Son of God will soon enter our world , a Redeemer unafraid of disrupting our chaos and bringing us peace .
How are we to do this ? After all , being vigilant when we are afraid is hard , and not succumbing to the stresses of life is even harder . I ’ m still figuring it out , but this season of Advent reminds me that I do not journey alone in the darkness of my fears , and that the promise of light is on its way . I am raising my head as I wait .
God Who Redeems : I know that you are near me in my times of fear and worry , even when I struggle to see you there . Help me turn to you when I feel overcome with troubles and find it hard to garner strength . Thank you for standing with me as I wait for the peace and healing that your child will deliver . Thank you for bringing us light .
Suggestion for Service
Winter , especially during an ongoing pandemic , can be a lonely and isolating time that brings about new worries . Take the time to check in on a friend you ’ ve been out of contact with , or a neighbor that you have not seen for a while . Make a point of following up with these people so that they know they are not alone or without someone who cares .