Advent 2014

First Tuesday of Advent - December 2nd

Is 11: 1-10 / Ps 19: 8-11 / Lk 10: 21-24

Children often have clarity of vision adults can only envy.  I recall my young sons not just liking something but loving it---not just disliking something (often vegetables) but hating it.  Adult wisdom would have us believe that such conviction resides in children because they are young and have few if any experiences.  Today’s readings give us a different understanding.  The presumption is that the world is complicated and that to understand fully what is going on around us, we need to have information about everything. The truth is, if we were to wait for all the information we ever needed about something we would never do anything. 

Today's gospel recalls the words Jesus spoke to his apostles when he said: “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”    In many ways it takes a childlike belief to have faith that our works with children in city schools will lead them toward college and a meaningful life.  That collecting recyclable materials and disposing of them properly will prolong our healthy life on earth.  That our prayers, meetings and walks for peace will lead to greater racial justice and harmony in our country.  The cynically logical among us would call these actions hopeless or at best too little too late.  The childlike among understand that” faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”

About the important things in the world, it is all very simple. We need to love each other.  Differences don’t really matter and peace is not the absence of war; rather peace is the normal condition of the world.  Children know this because it is what we teach them.  Be kind to others, share what you have, love your family.   If these lessons were good enough to teach our children, then perhaps we ought to live them ourselves.

Terry Nance
Center for Multicultural Affairs