Put on the splendor of glory from God

iStock photo/ThomasVogel

December 9 / Second Sunday of Advent


Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery; Put on the splendor of glory from God. ~ Baruch 5:1

There is scarcely a parent alive who has not at some point uttered the words, “You’re not wearing that, are you?” When my children were younger, this often occurred in the context of church-going, the battle lines drawn over tucked vs. untucked shirts. Even now, my kids love the coastal church we attend in the summers where (nice) shorts and (leather) flip-flops are acceptable in our eyes. Different settings demand different sartorial strategies. There is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance — and clothing appropriate to each of these activities. In today’s reading, Jerusalem — symbolizing the people of Israel who broke with God and suffered the terrible punishment of exile — is instructed to prepare for the joyful restoration of God’s love by stripping off the robe of mourning and sorrow. Their awful sentence completed, the Israelites can exchange the sackcloth of repentance for a garment of joy, or as Baruch describes it, “the splendor of the glory from God.”

This season of Advent invites us to pray about the occasions in our lives when we have broken with God — succumbing to habitual impatience or anger in a relationship, subtly undercutting a colleague, failing to care for the weaker or more vulnerable. As we prepare to welcome the blessing that is Christ into our midst, we would do well to remember that he comes to forgive us those flaws. Through prayer and reflection, we ask him to heal our short tempers, our competitiveness and our neglect of others. And through the grace of God, we can exchange the penitential purple of Advent for the festive, joyful colors of Christ-among-us.

Wise and benevolent God, clothe me this day in your love and goodness, that I may be a powerful witness to your presence in the world.Amen.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

More: Prayer / Advent

The latest from america

Israel’s upcoming election, which takes place on April 9, is casting uncertainty over House of Grace’s future.
Eloise BlondiauMarch 26, 2019
The freshness and wonder, the way that what was there before still exists but is now shot through with newness. The city glitters. Why not? Lent is the season of baptismal preparation as much as penance.
We have experienced God’s benevolent interventions in our own lives.
Lucetta Scaraffia, editor in chief of "Women Church World" a monthly magazine distributed alongside the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, poses in her house in Rome. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, File)
"We are throwing in the towel because we feel surrounded by a climate of distrust and progressive de-legitimization," founder Lucetta Scaraffia wrote in the open letter to Pope Francis.