Third Sunday of Advent
The end of first semester. This time of year can be both wonderful and stressful. It is a time filled with not only excitement for the holidays and the end of classes, but also final grades and decisions about what to do next. It’s easy to get caught up in this time and only focus on studying, preparing for the holidays, or whatever other task is on the to-do list. But this is also a time of year when it’s especially important to slow down. Now is the perfect chance to take the opportunity to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished this year and all the good that we have been able to do. Even with Thanksgiving being just a few short weeks ago, it is easy to lose focus and forget to keep gratitude as a consistent part of our lives. In the passage from 1 Thessalonians, we are reminded of this. “Brothers and Sisters: Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks”. This passage is a reminder that that no matter what is going on in our lives or how busy and stressed we may be, there is always something to thank God for. This point is supported in today’s first reading from the book of Isaiah. “I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul; for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels.” The readings for this third week of Advent tell us that God has a plan and purpose for every one of us and in this passage we are reminded that He has given us all of the tools we need to fulfill what we are being called to do.
The word “advent” is defined as “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event". During this Advent season, as we practice slowing down and being grateful, let us use this season not only to celebrate the coming of Christ, but also make this a time of our own advent or our own coming; a time where we begin the arrival in ourselves of the person we are being called to be, using all of God’s gifts to their fullest potential, to serve and work with others as we await the coming of Jesus.
Cassie Zehenny is a senior in the School of Nursing.