Advent with ++KJS Day 7 ” City of God”

++ Katharine & Me , May 2009.

This week is Advent 3, 2011 in the Church Year.

During yesterday morning’s homily my priest talked about how the third Sunday in Advent has been known as ” Rose Sunday. Contrary to popular belief, this nickname has nothing to do with the Blessed Virgin Mary–rather it marks the ” halfway” part of Advent. This was pertinent in the Early Church because Advent had been more of a penitential season{ more like Lent than Christmastide or Pentecost}.

On the Third Sunday of Advent, we who use the Rite One form of the do not recite The Prayer of Humble Access & we do not say a corporate Confession. The pink { or rose-colored, if you must} candle on the Advent Wrath was lit yesterday during Mass. Some clergy own colors of a pinkish hue which are worn on this particular Sunday in Advent.

I read yesterday’s lesson from my Advent study with Bishop Katharine’s first book this morning. Appropriately for this season of hope, she talks about the origin of the word ” Shalom”.

Generally we think of SHALOM as meaning merely ” peace be with you”. Bishop Katharine reminds us that the meaning of the root word describes a peace that is describes in some parts of Scripture as “a city of God”. Shalom isn’t a place which can ben found using a Global Positioning System.

This City Of God that our Presiding Bishop discusses is a place where all who hunger are fed, all have adequate clothing & shelter & no one is without needed medical care. This City is a place where there is no racism, sexism, heterosexism, ect. It is a place where humans see interact with each other based on the quality of character & NOT on any extrinsic differences.

As baptized Christians, part of our responsibility is working with each other to further this image of Shalom. If we are truly acting out our baptismal covenant, we should focus more on feeding the poor, ect. No matter what our economic situation, there is always something we can do for or give to someone else in need. We can educate ourselves about other races or religions as part of working towards total Shalom.

No one is useless .. { My Pap always said that ‘ God don’t make no junk.’}but many Christians do not see themselves as possessing any gifts that the Church could { and would use to work to further Shalom. I spent many years thinking that my physical differences excluded me from serving God in the best way I can. It is only through prayer, work, reading that spiritual maturity is worked towards. When we dedicate ourselves to serving God through serving others, we are both furthering Shalom & becoming more mature in our personal yet metaphorical walks with Our Lord.

Shalom, y’all. Amen.

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