December 18, 2014
Sue Crawford
Creighton's Department of Political Science and International Studies
click here for photo and information about the writer


Thursday of the Third Week of Advent
Lectionary: 194

Jeremiah 23:5-8
Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19
Matthew 21: 18-25

Praying Advent

Today's Daily Advent Prayer

Contemplating with Joseph

Pope Francis' homily today

In this third week of Advent the readings offer many promises of future justice that will be provided by God through an earthly king that lead up to a the Gospel promise of God’s actual presence in our world.  In the Gospel story, Joseph must decide how to act justly in a difficult personal situation.  In that critical juncture God appears to provide instructions to guide him and to give him confidence in the path that leads to his deeper involvement in the Emmanuel story.  The instructions in Joseph’s dream clarify that the decision of what to do about the discovery of Mary’s pregnancy was not just about his life and the life of Mary.  Instead, he was being called to participate in the fulfillment of the coming of the long-promised Chosen One for which he and his ancestors had been praying.  The story provides a sense that after this connection is made, Joseph gets up and steps into this calling, trusting it as the right thing to do. 

In this Advent Season I pray for the grace for us to see the larger picture of the coming of God’s greater justice in the decisions we face.   How might any of the choices we face today play into the larger Justice project that God promises?  Am I seeing that choice right now as a choice just about me or just about me and a small number of other people when, in fact, the choice has much broader implications for the justice or love that God wants to reveal?  Can we take some time to dream and listen to possible instructions from prayer or from discerning peers?  Are we willing to step into those roles or callings when they come?  Are we freeing ourselves from those things that would prevent ourselves from following? 

As an elected official (although nothing like a king), I appreciate the prayer in the Psalm for wisdom for the king to help him bring about justice.  I am grateful that I often feel the power of prayers on my behalf as I face tough decisions and debates.  I urge you to pray for leaders– not only for the sake of helping them to see how to choose justly – but also for the sake of seeing how your prayers and decisions fit into a much larger picture of bringing about the broader justice for which we long. 

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