Advent 2: Becoming Fully Human
By Fred Dabrowski, CTA Vision Team and Anti-Racism Team Member
A herald’s voice in the desert, crying:
“Make ready the way of our God, Clear a straight path.” (Mark 1-3)
Advent for the Christian is about expectancy: the Christ-child who was born and the Anointed One who will return. But Advent is also about how we live in the world, how we model our lives after the One who was made flesh and who chose to live, breathe, work, love and move amongst us. So, there is no Advent apart from seeking justice as Jesus did.
The readings today highlight this call for justice. We are asked to prepare the way of our God (Mk 1:3), to comfort the people of God (Is 40:1), to be at peace with our God (2 Pt 3:14) and justice will lean down from heaven (Ps 85:11).
God’s priorities are different than the rulers of this world, and if we live and follow the way of Jesus, we will be a threat to these rulers. Yet we cannot step back in fear, we need to go to the margins and learn from those who are rejected by our society.
The incarnation came to our poorest streets. Jesus was born to a homeless mother, a member of an occupied people oppressed by an imperial power. Later Jesus announces his mission as “bringing good news to the poor,” and then tells us that how we treat “the least of these” is the measure of how we treat and love our God. This is the real meaning of Christmas; not whatever signs are at the shopping malls.
Our country today is full of fear of the other, open racism, sexism. The white privilege that penetrates all aspects of our institutions continues to oppress all people deemed different. We are called to speak out and act out to address this oppression of our sisters and brothers. We must do our part or as Desmond Tutu stated, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
As followers of Jesus, we must do what God did: become fully human. We must identify with the lowest of the low, and adopt their causes as our own. During this time of Advent, a time of light in spite of darkness, our hope needs to be in one another and caring for each other. We need to overcome our differences to work together and understand that in the depths of pain and sorrow, we are united. We need each other, and we are not alone.
What does it mean to become fully human, to prepare the way of our God, in our society today?
Action: Educate yourself on issues of oppression. One possibility: 17 books on racism every white person needs to read.
Fred Dabrowski is a member of CTA Anti-Racism team, CTA’s Rio Grande Valley Texas chapter and an at large member of the Vision Council. Fred is also active in other peace and justice organizations in the Rio Grande Valley and West Michigan.
Read the rest of CTA’s Awaiting the Birth of Justice Advent reflections. A new reflection will be posted each week of Advent.