Are You Walking?
Second Sunday of Advent
December 7, 2014
MK 1:1-8

Just over a year ago, Pope Francis traveled to the home of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, to meet with a gathering of Church leaders. During his address to those assembled, The Holy Father commented on his great appreciation for the word “walking” in the context of exploring the spiritual life. He began his remarks this way:

WALKING is one of my favorite words when I think about a Christian and about the Church. I think that this is truly the most wonderful experience we can have, to belong to a people walking, journeying through history together with Our Lord, Who walks among us! We are not alone; we do not walk alone. We are part of the one flock of Christ that walks together.

Bringing his remarks to a close, The Holy Father stressed that: “…the most important thing is to walk together by working together, by helping one another, by acknowledging one’s mistakes and asking for forgiveness, and also by accepting the apologies of others by forgiving. How important this is.”

Advent is a very short and brisk walk. Already we are at “3:00” on the Advent wreath. We have WALKED 1/4 of the distance that separates us from the celebration of God’s Word taking Flesh to dwell among us. As we strike the match to light the second purple candle, it might be helpful to look back over the past week to see if we WALKED on the straight path that Isaiah described in our First Reading…recalled as well in the Gospel. Did we WALK with determination in our step…determination to be better disciples? Did we walk with others in the spirit of the season…the true and authentic spirit of the Advent season? Did we do anything to prepare spiritually, or did we just stumble along distracted and diminished by the Spirit-less “holiday” season?

Does it seem like the first part of this journey around the Advent wreath passed by quickly? That would not be surprising. Urgency is certainly a theme that is common to all three Readings on this Second Sunday of Advent. The season is short…only four weeks. Perhaps, before we light that second purple candle, we might do well to take a few minutes to plan how…and with whom …we will walk this next week of the Advent wreath. It does not take long to come full circle. The journey is brief…and so is life.