Monday, December 12, 2011

Dwelling Among Us (Franciscan Action Network)

Raise your hand, all those for whom Advent is your favorite liturgical season!  Many of us love this hushed season while our culture becoems more frenetic in its clamor to shop, spend, decorate, party.  We may have a foot in both worlds, yet yearn for more time to be quiet, to listen and wait in hopeful anticipation.  We want more time to reflect on the rich imagery that Advent offers.

The readings the Fourth (and last) Sunday of Advent offer two images of a dwelling place for God.  David, with good intention, wants to do a "home improvement" for the "ark of God," building a house of cedar to replace the tent, but God sees otherwise (cf. 2 Sm 7:5).  It is among the people that God will establish a house and kingdom that "shall endure forever" (2 Sm 7:13).  And when the time comes, the Word mad Flesh seeks and finds a dwelling in the womb of a young Jewish girl (cf. Lk 1:26-38).  Over and over the scriptures remind us that God's ways are not our ways.

God longs to make a dwelling among us and within us.  For a breathless moment, God waits for Mary's "yes" before becoming one of us and finding a home in her womb.  Aren't we all home-seekers?  Men and women waiting all night in the rain, children sleeping in cars, undocumented immigrants, those of us who live comfortably-all yearn for a place where we are accepted, loved, wanted.  Even God desires to find a home in and among us.  Even God waits for our "yes".

Perhaps God is asking you to reach out to those without homes this week.  You can say "yes"!  Identify a local homeless shelter and volunteer time or give a donation.  Search online to find the 60 minutes segment on "Living in Cars: Homeless Children in Florida." Read the Circle of Protection Statement to address poverty and the federal budget, which the USCCB, FAN and many other Christian organizations have signed.  If there is an Occupy group in your town or city, make a visit and ask people why they intend to spend Christmas in a tent in public space.  There are now a few Occupy Home groups standing vigil outside a neighbor's home, defending the family against eviction.

Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF
FAN Director of Advocacy and Member Outreach

This post was first published by Franciscan Action Network (FAN) in their December 12, 2011 email.  Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus, and the example of saints Francis and Clare, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is a collective Franciscan voice seeking to transform U.S. public policy related to peacemaking, care for creation, poverty, and human rights.