Why this tumult among nations,
among peoples this useless murmuring?
They arise, the kings of the earth,
princes plot against the Lord and his Annointed.
These are the first 4 lines of psalm 2, words I am sure I’ve read before but only today, on this first Sunday of Advent, do they echo in my mind and my heart, shadowing me with sorrow and helplessness at the plight of our tumult filled world, the dreary and endless litanies of war, violence and hatred. The useless murmuring of so many voices ceaselessly preaching anger, fear and hopelessness.
There was a time, not so long ago, when I knew nothing of this season of Advent… and Christmas was simply another time filled with way too much to do: parties to attend, gifts to purchase, decorations to unpack and display: in celebration of something I knew nothing about.
Jennifer Hubbard is the mother of one of the children killed last December 14th at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut. Her little girl was named Catherine Violet, the smiling and beautiful red haired 6 year old we saw pictured among all the others killed on that tragic day. A parishioner at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Jenny offered to speak to a gathering of the grade school parents a month after the shooting.
When asked how she could summon the courage to do this, Jenny answered that, “There is a Presence that is so much better than ourselves that we have to acknowledge it.”
In her talk to those parents, Jenny ended with these words… “I know that God has a specific purpose for us, and while I may not understand right now how I will muster the strength to fulfill his purpose, I must remain centered on his face… I pray that we find comfort and solace knowing that God loves each one of us and will wrap each one of us in his arms when the days become too much. I pray that the world returns to their faith.”
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