READINGS: Baruch 5:1-9; Psalm 126: 1-6; Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11; Luke 3 1-6

Called by name, Jerusalem! No time for funereal looks. Stand up, Jerusalem!

Look and see! We are urged in today’s scripture readings to prepare to hear, to see, to repent. We are each called by name. Can you hear a voice calling in some desert-corners of your own heart and mind? The Lord is still doing great things for us so “stand up” and prepare. “Behold!” That’s right!


Some years ago, after my stern and loud scolding for some safety concern in a primary school in the Bahamas, a boy raised his hand: “Sistah! Yer mout’ hard but yer eyes laughin’!” In myself I was delighted that he got the message loud and clear. He heard and saw and responded in the context of his here-‘n-now. Isn’t that the response that might delight our Lord: you got it! You took it to heart!

In the third year of the pontificate of Francis, and the seventh year of the presidency of Barack, when Andrew was governor of New York, and Bill was mayor of the metropolis, while William was policing all the boroughs, and during the episcopacy of Timothy, the Word of God comes to those waiting in the desert —

the desert of fear and anger, of terror by day and by night, of crooked ways in business, of job losses and cutbacks, of mortgage and insurance schemes, of political thefts and mounting debts, of financial collapse and treacherous deals, of broken promises and failed relationships, of sickness and injury and failing health.

Here-‘n-now the Lord is doing great things for us. Fear not. Stand up! Prepare!

“Behold the joy that is coming!” Look! Can you see? In the wild places the prophet shouted, for crying out loud, he preached GOOD NEWS. Have you heard?

The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

The Lord is doing great things with us; all will see God’s saving mercy. AMEN.

–Sister Eileen T. Kelly, SC

Sr-Eileen-KellySister Eileen is a teacher who served in New York and in the Bahamas. She gives occasional presentations in senior adult enrichment settings.