November 29, 2015

Reflection for the first week of Advent

On behalf of the Catholic Health Association, we are pleased to share the following reflection for the first week of Advent:

“On that day, the Lord will bind up the wounds of his people.”
Isaiah 30:26

Christine is a beautiful woman, inside and out. She is as vital as fresh air or summer sun. She is successful, strong, sincere and faith-filled. But her heart is a fragile, hidden glass, ready to break at any moment, because her beloved son is a heroin addict. Johnny lives in a tidal darkness beyond the shore of her sustaining light. Like spilled ink, that darkness regularly invades her joy and conspires to steal her hope.

Spiritual darkness holds a profound contradiction. It is the place where we may be deeply lost but even more deeply found. It is an interior tunnel through which every person walks at least once in life, the deep chasm from which Isaiah pointed to the distant mountaintop.

During the thrilling season of Advent, we step out into the land of promises and prophets. The language of hope unfurls in a galaxy across the heavens, calling us out of darkness toward an Infinite and Incarnate Light. In this first week’s glorious readings, the prophet Isaiah points to our salvation, star by prophetic star:

  • There is a Day coming, he tells us, and on the Day, the Lord will bind up the wounds of his people.
  • In a very little while, he tells us, Lebanon will be changed. A shoot shall sprout from the tree we had thought to be withered.
  • On this very mountain, he tells us, we will behold our God.

For all of us who, like Christine, carry human sorrow in the shadowed valleys of our spirits, there is healing on the near horizon. The Daystar of Jesus Christ is about to dawn through the darkness. God is about to put on the very humanness that is our burden and transform it into glory. Let us begin, with an eager faith, to enter the divine mystery being sung among the stars.

Listen to a podcast of this Advent reflection here: 2015-advent-week-one.mp3 (2.23 mb)

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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