“Sing to the Lord a new song” – Psalm 96:1

Advent is certainly a time of song. The aching longing of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” – the boundless joy of Handel’s “For unto us a Child is born…” – the evocative invitation of “O, Come All Ye Faithful” – all ready the ground of our hearts to receive the Word of God and to make it fruitful in our ordinary lives and in the life of our world. Many of us have become accustomed to singing these songs either with bittersweet nostalgia as we think of days gone by or as not really significant in light of the challenges that face us in our broken and shattered world. Can they be sung as a “new” song?

Today’s Gospel might be looked upon as the “new” song that John wrote to describe his experience of the coming, the maturing, and the fruition of the Word in his life and in his world. “The Word was made flesh.” – “The Word made His dwelling among us.” – “We saw his glory … full of grace and truth.” We may be inclined to see John’s experience as that of an extraordinary disciple, far beyond what might be possible for any ordinary person.  Still, John challenges us – “from His fullness we have all received.” Do I live in the awareness of my participation in the Word – the call given to me “to be a unique expression of God’s love … to manifest that love to the peoples of the world in these times”?

Today we’re invited to “Sing to the Lord a new song.”  Not many of us have the gift of composing or voices that enthrall, yet every one of us is able to make of our lives a song that gives glory to the Word of God in our little corner of the world. Where and to whom are we being asked to sing the love of God? Is it to the panhandler at the stop light? A student? A child? A spouse? An elderly parent or neighbor? In the silence? In the city? Watch for opportunities to let the Word of God take flesh in your life and speak God’s love to another.

Dear Lord – let Your Word become flesh in me this day so that “All the ends of the earth may see the saving power of God.”


Brother Joseph Pawlika

To view the full Advent 2020 booklet, click here.

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