Advent through the centuries: the twentieth century, part IV: 1970-1999

Monday, December 23, 2013
The twentieth century of the Church.

And we’re almost up to the current day. Today will be the late 20th century, roughly 1970-1999. Tomorrow (The 24th) will be roughly 2000-2013.

Scripture:
Zephaniah 3:14-17

Shout for joy, Daughter Zion!
Shout out, Israel!
Be happy and boast with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord has removed the judgment against you;
he has turned back your enemy.
Israel’s king, the Lord, is in your midst!
You no longer need to fear disaster.
On that day they will say to Jerusalem,
“Don’t be afraid, Zion!
Your hands must not be paralyzed from panic!
The Lord your God is in your midst;
he is a warrior who can deliver.
He takes great delight in you;
he renews you by his love;
he shouts for joy over you.

Reading:

Óscar Romero, two quotes, both from 1978.

Christ became a man of his people and his time:
He lived as a Jew,
he worked as a laborer of Nazareth,
and since then he continues to become incarnate
in everyone.
If many have distanced themselves from the church,
it is precisely because the church has somewhat
estranged itself from humanity.
But a church that can feel as its own all that is human,
and wants to incarnate the pain,
the hope,
the affliction of all who suffer and feel joy,
such a church will be Christ loved and awaited,
Christ present.
And that depends on us.

A Christian community is evangelized
in order to evangelize.
A light is lit
in order to give light.
A candle is not lit to be put under a bushel,
said Christ.
It is lit and put up high
in order to give light. That is what a true community is like.
A community is a group of men and women
who have found the truth in Christ and in his gospel,
and who follow the truth
and join together to follow it more strongly.
It is not just an individual conversion,
but a community conversion.
It is a family that believes,
a group that accepts God.
In the group, each one finds that the brother or sister
is a source of strength
and that in moments of weakness they help one another
and, by loving one another and believing,
they give light and example.
The preacher no longer needs to preach,
for there are Christians who preach by their own lives.
I said once and I repeat today
that if, unhappily, some day they silence our radio
and don’t let us write our newspaper,
each of you who believe
must become a microphone,
a radio station,
a loudspeaker,
not to talk, but to call for faith.
I am not afraid that our faith may depend
only on the archbishop’s preaching;
I don’t think I’m that important.
I believe that this message,
which is only a humble echo of God’s word,
enters your hearts,
not because it is mine,
but because it comes from God.

Modern Day Jesus, by Dan Beers. 1990.
Modern Day Jesus, by Dan Beers. 1990.

Prayer:
Creation Care prayer from 1992.

All people of the earth, each and every nation
Arise and rejoice at the continued creation
Of beauty, of springtime, the yearly rebirth
Of our protector, our home, our own Mother Earth!

Who despite our apparent lack of care
Creates bountiful splendor for all to share
From mountain tops to the deepest sea
All wonderful earthly miracles bursting free!

Yet this miracle of renewal requires the helping hand
Of the people to replenish and renew the land
From the largest of cities to the most remote farms
To unite in spirit and with the strongest arms.

Become a midwife to the birth of each flower
A guardian of our resources hour by hour
We must learn to take time to appreciate
The miracles of which we did not create.

For God has given this wonderful treasure
And its preservation will be the measure
Of people who recognize and will celebrate
The birth of each season before it’s too late.

In citizenship, in willingness to toil
We must bend our backs and tend to the soil
In stewardship, arise and applaud the worth
Of the wondrous marvel of our Living Earth!

Consider creation. . . . Consider it now.

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