Advent is a time of preparation, prayer and reflection. These traits can be hard to achieve in the hurry-up culture that we live in today. We invite you towatch this short video that explores the purpose of advent and why it is important in our lives.
The readings for Advent feature the prophet Isaiah very prominently. While this prophet can exult in the glory of the Lord, he never tires of calling Israel to a repentance that will include giving justice to the poor and the widowed. In The Prophets the Jewish theologianAbraham Heschel explains that the prophets as a group were hypersensitive to any form of injustice.
Indeed, the sort of crimes and even the amount of delinquency that fill the prophets of Israel with dismay do not go beyond that which we regard as normal, as typical ingredients of social dynamics. To us a single act of injustice – cheating in business, exploitation of the poor – is slight; to the prophets, a disaster. To us, injustice is injurious to the welfare of the people; to the prophets it is a deathblow to existence, to us, an episode, to them, a catastrophe, a threat to the world.
Their breathless impatience with injustice may strike us as hysteria. We ourselves witness continually acts of injustice, manifestations of hypocrisy, falsehood, outrage, misery, but we rarely grow indignant or overly excited. To the prophets ever a minor injustice assumes cosmic proportions.