In the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent, we notice three concrete invitations for the way we live: to preach, to repent, and to announce the good news.
The first invitation is to preach. John the Baptist preached through the humble way he lived and through the example he set for the many who followed him. We would say that he acted with great humility, since many followed him, confessing their sins and being baptized. In his time, John preached in the desert of Judea. Today, we should ask ourselves: Where is the “desert” in which God is present to us in the realities of this moment? Are we preaching in this “desert” through the way we live and the example we set? Or, maybe there are many “deserts.”
Repentance. In this second invitation, we reflect on how God, through John, has a clear plan: inviting us to repent and to prepare to encounter Jesus when he arrives. What is God’s plan for us today? What are God’s desires for me? Based on our experiences, let us focus our gaze and our hearts on the hope that Jesus brings. Like John, Jesus comes to teach us humility. But unlike John, Jesus remains with us and lives in our hearts when we turn to him for forgiveness. Once we allow him to enter our hearts, not only does he want to remain with us, but he also wants to give us his Holy Spirit.
Let us announce that Jesus has arrived. Advent is a time of preparation, so that when Jesus comes and approaches us, we can open our hearts to him and offer him a place. The way we live and the changes we make during this time of preparation are a concrete sign of how God is preparing us for Jesus to come into our lives. Let us prepare with humble hearts, and let us ask God for the grace not only to open our eyes and ears to hear and see Jesus, but also our lips to announce the good news that he is present to us.
Domingo Caratachea lives in Richmond, Virginia, and is a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He coordinates the “Posadas Ignacianas” for the parish, and together with his wife, Marta, and two others, he coordinates a prayer group. He also leads an Ignatian group which gathers to deepen faith through Ignatian spirituality. Currently, he is in the process of discernment to become a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Richmond.
Elaine Ireland and Jim Palmer from Loyola on the Potomac Jesuit retreat house will lead our Examen Live! on Aug. 14, 2020, at 12:30 PM Eastern. At the end of the week, let's take a deep breath, remember that we are in the presence of God, and spend a few minutes in prayerful reflection. Sign up to receive updates and reminders.
August 3, 2020 – This month Pope Francis is asking us to join him in praying for The Maritime World. We pray for all those who work and live from the sea, among them sailors, fishermen and their families. Our world cries out for healing and renewal. May we place our hand into the hand of the God who calmed the seas that his beautiful gift of creation may be restored and all whose lives depend on the fruits of the ocean be protected, this day and always. As one, may we rejoice and give thanks. Amen.
On the eve of the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, we gather (online) to pray as one Ignatian community for healing, justice, and peace. Join us on Thursday, July 30, from 7:00-7:30 PM ET for this bilingual prayer service.
July 30, 2020 - Join Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, on Sun., Aug. 2 at 4 p.m., for a live, interactive discussion as he shares the Ignatian way of making decisions and the surprising closeness to God it brings, which is needed now more than ever. This event is hosted by the Jesuit retreat houses on the East Coast, and proceeds from the event will go to support their ministries.
July 3, 2020 – This month Pope Francis is asking us to join him in praying for Our Families. The often-frenetic rhythm of life that we follow is detrimental to our family life. This is an important problem, because no one—neither we as individuals nor society as a whole—can do without families. This is truer now than ever during the time of crisis that we are living. As Pope Francis says, “families are not a problem, they are first and foremost an opportunity.”
July 1, 2020 – Fifteen representatives from Jesuit parishes and organizations in New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina, participated in a Day of Virtual Action in Spanish with a member of Senator Bob Menéndez's (D-NJ) staff on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.