Over at the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns site, Maryknoll lay missioner Barbara Fraser has a nice reflection for the second Sunday of Advent. Fraser spent many years in Peru.
In the Andes mountains, water is life. Rains fall from November to March, during the growing season. In the dry months, however, people depend on glaciers, which slowly release water, irrigating pastures where animals graze and feeding streams that provide water for drinking and washing. As the glaciers disappear, the pastures dry up, and neighbors begin to fight over access to the remaining pastures and streams. Some cannot continue to make a living from the land. They migrate to cities, where they face hardship and discrimination, because they have little formal education and do not speak Spanish well.
Farmers in the Andes see the world they have known collapsing around them, because of the changing climate. What they feel is probably similar to what the Israelites felt when they were in exile, or what the Jews of John the Baptist’s time felt under foreign occupation. They lived in a time of uncertainty, had little control over events, and did not know if they could promise their children a better future.
Today’s readings reminded them and remind us of God’s faithfulness and the promise of salvation. But the readings also remind us that God calls us to action, to prepare the way for salvation.
Read Barbara Fraser’s whole reflection here.