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December 10


Red Candles


Into God’s Time

With the Advent season, God invites us into Christ’s coming—his birth and the salvation he brings, his ongoing presence in our lives, and, ultimately, his return at the end of time. In Jesus Christ God becomes part of the human journey, so that we become part of God’s eternity. We open ourselves to the absolute God in Christ, and, in Jesus, God embraces the uncertainties and vulnerabilities of our existence. 

On Advent’s second Sunday, the first reading (Isaiah 40:1–5, 9-11) keeps us hopeful about ultimate clarity and victory. “Here comes in power the Lord God, who rules by his strong arm” (40:10). For Christians, the birth of Jesus offers definitive delivery for the saved. We like our experience of God to mirror that certainty.

We know that our reality and understanding involve hesitancies, doubts, mistakes, and misdirections. Life is complex and often messy. God lets divine certainty play out in our uncertain world, often to our puzzlement and even despair. St. Peter advises, “With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day”  (2 Peter 3:8, cf. Ps. 90:4). Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection happened, and the victory is his. Still, the reality is working itself out in our lives and world. 

John the Baptist, a peculiar man living on society’s fringe, proclaimed the arrival of one who “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:8). With strange timing and a stranger messenger, God calls us into the mystery of divine purpose. 

In Christianity, we find the only certainty in Jesus, at once a frail human and the eternal God. In Christ’s living, dying, rising, and yet always with us, the living God gathers us in a life voyage of faith and trust. Two weeks into the Advent season, the journey is underway.



Fr. Art Liebscher, S.J. ’69

Fr. Art assists the Alumni Office with spiritual services deemed important to the University. His many good works include attending to those in special need, representing the University in liturgies, participating on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and helping build Santa Clara’s Jesuit outreach to younger alumni, special boards, and other constituencies.