Advent Reflection- Welcoming the Stranger

As we enter into the second week of Advent, and continue to prepare our minds and hearts for Jesus’ coming, this Sunday’s readings speak to us of harmony, welcome and preparation.  Isaiah paints a beautiful picture of a world where justice and faithfulness abound, where great kinship exists among the creatures of the land.  This is a challenging reminder and invitation for all of us to continue to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones and look to form connections with those we may not otherwise.

The second reading taken from Romans, challenges us to “think in harmony with one another” so that with “one voice we may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It can be easy to remain in the same place, interacting with like-minded people, and remain comfortable, but the readings this week are asking more of us.  They are encouraging us to be welcoming, to “welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

The Gospel passage from Matthew takes this a step further to encourage us to stay active and “prepare the way of the Lord.”  This preparation calls us to step out of our place of comfort, our routines of life we’ve grown accustom to and instead, to go out and be that welcoming presence to those we meet.  It’s an invitation to form connections with all living things, to breakdown the walls of separation and begin to construct a world of harmony, peace, and justice for all. During this season of Advent, a period of expectant waiting and preparation for our Lord’s coming into the world, we can prepare to welcome Christ by first being a welcoming presence to those we encounter each day, whether through a smile, listening compassionately, or opening a door for another.

Questions for further reflection:

  1. As an RMC, how were you welcomed into your new community and work site?
  2. How can you be a welcoming presence to those you encounter each day?
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