Reflections on the 2nd Sunday before Advent

Sunday 15th November

Second Sunday before Advent

Readings:

Zephaniah 1:7,12-end

Psalm 90

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Matthew 25:14-30

 

We pray:

O God of peace,

whose Son Jesus Christ proclaimed the kingdom

and restored the broken to wholeness of life:

look with compassion upon the anguish of the world

and, by thy healing power,

make whole both people and nations;

through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

The reading from the Book of Zephaniah – a prophet thought active during the reign of Josiah (640-609BCE), probably before the reforms undertaken by Josiah when the power of Assyria declined.

 

And we see the familiar prophetic pattern of oracles of disaster and judgement followed by oracles of salvation – that does come later!

 

As we approach Advent, we are being called then to reflect on what is wrong in our lives and our world before we turn again to receive the healing that is waiting for us.  

 

To bring an everyday way of thinking about this might be to reflect on the way we are all waiting for that ‘new normal’ that we are hoping will come with a vaccine to combat

Covid 19.

 

If we are looking forward to a ‘new’ normal, what might that be telling us about our

‘old’ normal?

 

Many of us are re-evaluating our lives in the light of the current pandemic – and this is proper Advent reflection!

 

The Gospel reading brings us another parable of the kingdom to think about.

As usual, most of us have had this parable explained to us in moralistic terms.

 

All very well, but might there be another way of ‘seeing’ that brings a different light on this familiar story?

 

Well........

 

What if we consider the following:

 

1 Talent was equivalent to 15 years average earnings at the time

The Master in the story is not God

Who then is the Master?

Where is the place of weeping and groaning?

 

Stephen Jay Gould in ‘The Mismeasure of Man’ writes this:

 

Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to thrive, or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without but falsely identified as lying within. (my italics)

 

The mystery of the Incarnation follows Advent.

 

The Incarnation, the Word of God made flesh and dwelling within us, calls us to look deep inside ourselves in order to find the Truth that is ours by the Grace of God. (John 1:14)