By Judy Allison
The young mother sat in a pew a few rows ahead of me with an older toddler snuggled between her and her husband and an infant no more than six months old in her arms. She rocked gently so as not to disturb the others seated close to her. She looked down at the infant with a gentle love, and he looked back at her. Their gaze locked for a long moment. Then, for no apparent reason other than that love must express itself, he smiled up at her. And for that moment, all of us who saw it were touched by love as if by starlight and angel song.
It was the stuff of which dreams are made.
On the second Sunday of Advent, we hear from the prophet Isaiah, whose vision dreams of a new and powerful king who comes to save the people – God’s people. This king’s power emanates from the spirit of the Lord. Different from all earthly kings, this “good” king will possess wisdom, understanding, good counsel, right judgment, knowledge, strength and he will “delight in the Lord God.”
Under the reign of this “good” king, the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the kid, the lion and the calf, the bear and the cow “shall browse together – with a little child to lead them.” This, too, is the stuff of which dreams are made.
We long for an era of peace where love is abundant; where neither animals nor people prey upon each other; where no one goes to sleep in fear; and where home is more than a cardboard box or a tent or a 10’ x 12’ FEMA trailer; where drinking water is clean and plentiful and bread is everywhere broken and shared.
As we enter more deeply into this season of Advent, let us remember that we are called by our Baptism to help bring about the dream that is revealed through the life, mission, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. We are called to dream the dream. We are a people of the Covenant.
Sometime during this week, find a quiet spot to rest, take a deep breath and let it out slowly. St. Augustine asked, “What good does it do for Jesus to have been born in a stable so long ago, if he is not born anew in our hearts today?” Sit with this for awhile. What words and images come to mind?
Judy Allison is a long-time friend of the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart.