Scripture reading reflection


By Fr. Andrew Kelly
A bleak winter’s depressing darkness permeates the believing community’s soul. Membership is down. The young are uninterested. Evangelization net results to date are negligible. Fewer members are showing up for community worship, let alone being involved in community mission projects.
The Advent Season is the ideal time for the community to examine its darkness to find the reasons why no light or hope radiates from within. As the community looks into its mirror, if all it sees is itself, then the community has identified its problem. It is a spiritual crisis. All its time, treasure and talent are being spent and utilized in an attempt to perpetuate and secure itself for the future.
John the Baptist in Sunday’s Gospel (John 1:6-8, 19-28) does just the opposite. John refuses to perpetuate and secure himself for the future. Instead John humbly points to and gives witness to Jesus Christ as the light of the world.
Advent is the perfect time for the community to quit looking at itself and start pointing to and giving witness to Jesus Christ’s light. If allowed in and welcomed, Christ’s Advent light will transform the community’s winter darkness into never extinguished radiant light radically changing the community’s life forever.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)

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