Several years ago, I noticed that Advent was the first part of the word “adventure.” Something, I thought, worth pondering. Last week, I found myself pondering the hazardous adventure of Christmas shopping, which is a very strange kind of event when you stop to think about it. Physical combat doesn’t seem to be as common among Christmas shoppers today as it was a few years ago, but it still happens. Then there’s the struggle to see who in the neighborhood can get the most lights up on the trees and bushes and eaves and railings. There’s even a TV reality series about the competition. Not that it has much to do with the birth of the Messiah. The main thing still seems to be shopping.
A different kind of adventure is offered us in the readings for this second Sunday of Advent, which center on the power of repentance and forgiveness, the theme linking the three beautiful texts from today’s liturgy of the Word.