From the Desk
of Fr. Tony...
Fr. Tony Stubeda
Father Tony Stubeda
Wondering in Winter
On Monday night I drove home from meetings in Silver Lake when the wind was at its fiercest and the snow was coming down the hardest. Well, it really wasn’t coming down it was going sideways. There were times when I couldn’t see the road, and I was using the rumble strip and crossed-finger method of keeping on the road several times during the half hour it took me to get home. Despite the nerves and the somewhat uncertain drive home, I was excited for winter to finally arrive. As I am well aware, many of you do not share my enthusiasm for winter. While I stand in wonder at the fierce beauty of winter, many of you wonder what you ever did to deserve this. As I am amazed at the subtle joys of the long cold nights, many of you are dismayed with the lack of light and warmth. For that reason I try to keep my enjoyment of winter low key, and I hope, a little less irritating to those of you who endure, rather than enjoy this season.
Whether we like it or detest it, the weather of this season draws us into the meaning of Advent, this time of preparation and joyful expectation. Like the people of Israel, to whom Isaiah addresses his words today, we are a people who can feel forgotton and forlorn. The long nights and cold days can make us wonder if God has forgotten us as we wander in the darkness of our lives. The first words of today’s First Reading cut their way across the darkness and speak warmly to our cold hearts, “Comfort, give comfort to my people.” The dark nights are pierced by the light of God’s promise and the cold days are warmed by words of hope. We are not forgotten, not left to wander alone, but we are remembered by God. He has roused himself and is hurrying toward us. God will pierce the dark and cold of winter with the wonderful light of salvation. He will cause us to be filled with the wonder of his glory.
While we can wonder how this will happen, God reminds us that we will become the messengers of this great news. He calls us to shake off the lethargy of winter and to cry out with joy that the dawning of salvation is near. Like John the Baptist, whose clothes, food, actions and words proclaimed clearly to all that God was working wonders for his people, our lighting our homes with soft colored lights, our decorating of our homes and times of quiet prayer and contemplation proclaim just as clearly that God is preparing to reveal himself to us. Our confidence becomes a sign of God’s rushing towards us with light and new life.
While it is perfectly understandable that this time of year might leave you wondering, I invite you to be filled with wonder and awe at the mavels beyond our hopes and imaginations that God is working before our very eyes.