Saturday, December 8, 2007

Changing Our Minds

(2nd Sunday of Advent, A)

John the Baptist, the forerunner of the coming Lord, “appeared in the desert of Judea and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!’”

“Repent,” he urges. The word we translate as ‘repent’ is the imperative, metanoeite. Metanoeite, which can be more literally translated as ‘change your mind.’ That’s our call as we enter into the second week of the advent season. We are to change our minds.

This isn’t like how we usually talk about changing our minds, like about which shoes we want to wear or what we want to watch on TV. It’s about changing our whole perspective, changing the way we look at things.

Why? It’s because the Lord is coming, and he sees the world from God’s perspective. As we hear today in the prophet Isaiah, “not by appearance shall he judge, not by hearsay shall he decide, but he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.” God has a very particular way of looking at the world, a perspective that wants to save and lift up the oppressed, the poor, and the hungry. God’s perspective brings a judgment on the world that will, as Our Lady says in her Magnificat, “cast down the mighty from their thrones.”

So as we prepare for the coming of the Lord, we need to change our minds and bring our perspective around to the way God sees the world. For the judgment of God takes sides in human history, against the arrogant and the oppressors and in favor of the poor and the hungry.

So if we ourselves wish to come out favorably in the coming judgment of God, we too ought to get on the side of the poor and the oppressed. If we wish be among those who enjoy the new world of peace promised by the prophet Isaiah, where the “wolf will be a guest of the lamb,” and where there shall be “no harm or ruin,” we must change our minds, we must repent and get on the side of all those who suffer because of our sins and the sins of the world.

3 comments:

ben in denver said...

We went to the Extraordinary Form this past Sunday, so we had Mt 11:2-10 for the Gospel.
We heard Jesus tell John's Disciples:

"Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them: and blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in Me."

How nice to check your blog this morning and hear you echoing the Lord:

"For the judgment of God takes sides in human history, against the arrogant and the oppressors and in favor of the poor and the hungry."

Charles of New Haven said...

Thanks, Ben. My parents asked me if I there was anything I might want for Christmas, and I thought of the extraordinary form. But I'm not sure what's the right thing to get. Yet.

ben in denver said...

The website for the "Coalition is Support of Ecclesia Dei" lists St. Eugene in Yonkers as having the extraordinary form every Sunday at 10:30. Have you ever had the opportunity to attend?

The extraordinary form looks like it would require a bit af training. Out in Colorado the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter have offered training to other clergy interested in learning the older form. I understand that the Institue of Christ the King and the Cannons Regular of St. John Cantius are doing similar things in other parts of the country.