Isaiah today comes very close to blaming God for the unfaithfulness he sees around him. If God was 'closer' none of this would ever have happened. But as if coming back from a momentary lapse of judgement he is quick to point out that the people of God had slowly wandered away from the covenant. He eventually refers to this wounded-ness which lies at the depths of our being.
This kind of brokenness is what we experience when people will compliment us, our comment on our spiritual maturity. We know full well the fears, anxieties, hurts, and pain we lug around with us. Sometimes we do a very good job at hiding the depths of our sinfulness. But the challenge for a disciple is to be honest with our own needs and concerns. What hobbles us, preventing the fullness of the Lord to reside within us. The Closeness of God, or lack therein, is not from God;s side but from ours.
One of the commentaries I had read referred to 'sleepwalking' through life. We are not really awake to the Sin and Evil that swirls about us, and refuse to address it's effect in our own lives. Now we are not all called to be mystics, but we are called to a holiness of life. The ability to wake up invites us to transform ourselves from mediocrity and apathy, to full of compassion and a commitment to God's covenant with us.
During this season we will see the very traditional Christmas Carol, the not so traditional Scrooged, and the entertaining The Grintch. In each of these the premise is the same; a powerful event changes the hearts of the main character, causing them to love and care. Now the birth of Jesus has already occurred, but we make present the Body and Blood of Christ on the altar each day. The Sacrament of Reconciliation invites us to begin a journey of healing and grace through God's mercy.
The trappings of Advent challenge us to conversion and discipleship. It is a journey of growing closer to the Lord and experiencing his great love for us. This season calls us out of darkness into his own most marvelous light.