Second Sunday of Advent
December 4, 2016
““Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
the calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.”
As a young child, I spent many nights watching my mother embroider a crewel tapestry of the
“Peaceable Kingdom.” Slowly, a few tufts of yarn became an owl, a sheep, or an ox. I was in awe as I watched it develop. Like any good crafter, Mother carried her bag of tools with her wherever she went, and she might get in a few stitches while watching TV, or during her coffee break at work, or even while visiting friends. When it was finally finished, she hung it over the couch in my family home, helping my brothers and me be a—somewhat—peaceable kingdom.
Isaiah’s vision may seem unrealistic, something that could never happen. In a time when our nation is in a period of political unrest, it seems especially surreal to imagine how opposites will ever be able to live and “play nice” side by side. But that tapestry, which now hangs in my office, reminds me of lessons my mother taught me in her crafting:
We have to start from scratch with a blank canvas; we must be open to God working within us.
We cannot be afraid to rip out our mistakes and rework them.
We cannot use the same stitch to heal everything; we must use the proper stitch at the proper time.
We must pay close attention and put love and thoughtfulness behind each stitch.
We must put it down and walk away at times, so as to come back with a fresh perspective tomorrow.
We must be patient and have faith; it all takes time.
We must remember it will not always be easy or fun.
We must not give up. Many tire along the way and never bring their tasks to completion.
We must always keep the end in mind.
We must realize that things don’t always go exactly as planned. Many times the slight “imperfections” are the things that create the life and beauty.
Crafter of the universe, in this season of Advent,
let me find time to sit with you as you shape me and change me, bit by bit.
Help me to do my part to tear down divisions, to build bridges of love.
Let me place my hope and faith in the coming Christ,
knowing that he will bring all good works to completion.
Jill Maria Murdy
Saint Frances Cabrini Parish
West Bend, Wisconsin