First Sunday of Advent

November 27, 2016

November 27, 2016

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November 27, 2016

First Sunday of Advent

Jamie

Phelps, O.P.

STAY AWAKE!

The readings for the first Sunday of Advent admonishes us to stay awake. They call us to be attentive to what is happening in our place and in our times. Today, I am very conscious of the human divisions within our global world and nation.

Recent events across our world and nation reveal serious divisions within the family of God: Wars in the Middle East and the ongoing Palestinian-Jewish conflict manifest our religious divisions among Christian, Muslims and Jews; Large scale immigration reveals religious oppression as families leave their homelands to seek peace and the recognition of their equality and dignity as human beings; Diversity of race, nationality, culture become terms of division rather than enrichment. Most prominent in our news media are the race and class divisions. The rich predominantly white minority have access to quality housing, education and ownership of goods as well as control of our corporations and social institutions.  The poor, on the other hand lack quality housing, education, possessions and decision making or participation in our major corporations and social institutions.

The wealthy are more visible and exercise power and control over our nation. The middle class is diminishing. The number of the poor is increasing.  The wisdom, gifts, talents and power of the poor is denied and/or rendered invisible and ineffective as they are relegated to the margin The availability of quality housing, food and education varies in accord with one’s class, race, national identity and location in the world. Unemployment, homelessness and poverty is increasing,

Gang violence among and between Black, Latino, Asian and Euro American gangs[1] and Police brutality reveal ethnic-racial and class division and systemic oppression. Secularity, the denial of the existence of God’s presence and role in our lives, is increasing and is accompanied by a rise personal narcissism, materialism and social indifference to the common good.

Racism, sexism, nationalism, imperialism, capitalism divide the human community. Some individuals and groups, such as the Ku Klux Clan, claim superiority or dominance over others based on their skin color, gender, economic status or nation of origin. 

The reality of anti-black and anti-black bigotry and hatred of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans were made plain in our recent election as both candidates accused one another and both parties of racial and class bias and bigotry .

 

DIVISION, BIGOTRY AND HATRED CONTRADICT THE WILL AND WAY OF GOD!

The readings for the first Sunday of Advent God calls us to walk in the light. God calls us to stay awake to God’s presence in our life and in the lives of others. God calls us to stay awake to the presence of the divine manifest in our history or situation in life.

God calls us to embody God’s universal unconditional love. Only then does our true identity as the People of God become visible. We are made in the image and likeness of the Triune God: Three distinct persons bound by the common identity of God. We are called to reflect in our lives the same unity diversity that characterizes God.

As we begin this Advent Season in preparation for the re-birth and/or deepening of our consciousness of Jesus in our lives and in our world

 

·      Let us expand our circle of those included in our Love of God and Love of Neighbor.

 

·      Let us “wake up and stay awake” by being attentive and seeking to construct and strengthen our individual, national and global relationships. 

 

·      Let us seek to mend our divisions by seeking to engage those who are different from ourselves and thus prepare for that unity in community that characterizes the coming of God’s kingdom in our midst everyday

 

·      Let us heed  psalm 122 and Put on the Lord Jesus Christ… ”

 

·      Let us “Pray for the peace!”

 

·      Let us “… throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust, not in rivalry and jealousy.

 

·      Let us live in accord with the words chapter 24 of  Matthew’s Gospel  which admonishes us to

 

‘….stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.

 Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

 

If we stay awake, remain attentive to and embody God’s will and way our song will be the song of the psalmist. We too will sing with joy as we go to the house of the Lord!

 

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord!

 

-Preacher: Sr. Jamie T. Phelps, OP,

Adrian Dominican Sister and Theologian

[1]National Youth Gang Survey

https://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/survey-analysis/measuring-the-extent-of-gang-problems

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

http: //www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/96natyouthgangsrvy/surv_6c.html

 

Primer Domingo de adviento

27 de Noviembre, 2016

¡NO TE DUERMAS!

Las lecturas del primer domingo de adviento nos amonestan que nos mantengamos despiertos. Nos pide que estemos alerta a lo que esté pasando en nuestros lugares y durante nuestros tiempos.  Hoy, estoy muy consciente de las divisiones humanas que existen entre nuestro mundo y nación.

Acontecimientos recientes en el mundo y nuestra nación ilustran serias divisiones en la familia de Dios; guerras en el medio oriente y el conflicto crónico judío-palestino son manifestaciones de nuestras divisiones religiosas. Inmigración a gran escala nos revela personas que abandonan sus países natales en búsqueda de paz y dignidad humana.  La diversidad de raza, nación de origen, y cultura se han convertido en términos de división y no enriquecimiento. 

El racismo, sexismo, nacionalismo, imperialismo, capitalismo dividen a la comunidad humana. Algunos individuos y grupos como el Ku Klux Klan, exigen ser reconocidos como superiores o dominantes sobre otros en base al color de su piel, su género, estado económico o nación de origen.

La realidad de lo que es el odio anti-negro, y el odio contra nuestros hermanos y hermanas hispanos y Americanos Nativos se hizo muy visible en la reciente elección en lo que ambos candidatos se acusaban mutuamente de ser racistas y odiosos.

¡LA DIVISION, EL FANATISISMO Y EL ODIO CONTRADICEN LA PALABRA DE DIOS!

En las lecturas del primer domingo de adviento Dios nos pide que caminemos en la luz. Dios no pide que nos mantengamos alertas lo que acontece en nuestros alrededores y que reconozcamos que vivimos vidas falsas. Son vidas que nos dividen en contra el uno del otro, en vez unirnos con los dones maravillosos de los que son diferentes a nosotros. 

Dios nos llama  a encarnar su amor universal e incondicional.  Se nos llama a reflejar al Dios trino del cual hablamos en nuestra tradición Católica Romana.  Esa identidad donde cada persona es distinta, pero que constituye un solo Dios. Esa diversidad se supone que sea fuente de enriquecimiento, donde veo en mis hermanos y hermanas el reflejo de Dios y reconozco los dones que ellos traen.  Los festejo, se lo agradezco y los acojo como dones humanos que son, sin rechazarlos por no parecerse a mí, o por no caminar como yo, o por no hablar como yo.

La diversidad es para celebrarse porque refleja lo vasto y complejo que es el Dios de Jesucristo que decimos seguir.

Se nos llama a ser uno como Dios es UNO.  Los términos de esa singularidad es ese amor universal e incondicional. Solo cuando amamos, solo cuando vemos a Dios en el prójimo podremos llamarnos en realidad la Familia de Dios. Se nos urge mantenernos despiertos, despiertos a la verdad de quien somos y de quien somos.

Cuando nos despertamos a la unidad de nuestra identidad familiar lo hacemos ampliando el círculo de los que incluimos cuando decimos que queremos a Dios como a nuestro prójimo.

Debemos mantenernos despiertos y atentos en lo que buscamos construir y fortalecer nuestros patrones de relaciones individuales, nacionales y globales.

Debemos no solo reconocer los hermanos y hermanas que conocemos, sino reconocer que como parte de la familia de Dios tenemos miembros de la familia que viven en otras naciones, otras culturas.  Tenemos que reconocer que ellos no existen para nosotros dominar o controlarlos.  Están para enriquecernos, y nosotros a ellos con dones de nuestra nación.

Cuando nos vestimos de Jesucristo – como nos manda la Sagrada Escritura – se nos manda a vivir en la manera de Jesús.  A Jesús no había quien se le alejara, es más que los marginalizados eran los que más se le acercaban y el a ellos.  La mujer samaritana, el hombre que se estaba quedando ciego, el cojo en el camino.  Jesús no les paso por al lado sin detenerse, el se paro, escucho y respondió. VISTAMONOS DE JESUCRISTO!

Al reconocernos todos como hermanos y hermanas van creciendo nuestras relaciones pacificas. Todas las familias tienen momentos de discordia, todos tienen peleas. Pero al fin y al cabo le damos gracias a Dios por nuestros hermanos y hermanas.  Le damos gracias a Dios por TODOS nuestros hermanos y hermanas y seguimos creciendo en nuestras relaciones de paz.

Tenemos que despejarnos de las tinieblas del mundo de hoy día y desenvolvernos apropiadamente en el amor, no un amor de lujuria y promiscuidad, de rivalidad y celos sino – y lo vuelvo a repetir – amor universal incondicional. El amor que resulta en que nos preocupemos más por el prójimo que por nosotros mismos.  ¿No fue eso lo que hizo Jesús?

Como Cristianos se no llama a vivir profundamente en el corazón de Dios, profundamente en el corazón, y los deseos de Dios, y la manera de Dios como es manifestada en Jesucristo. Debemos mantenernos despierto y alertas a quien somos como cristianos. Mantente atento a, y encarna el deseo y el camino de Dios.

Cuando por fin nos acoplemos, y por fin sepamos lo que es ser seguidor y discípulo de Jesús y lo sabemos porque lo vivimos, solo entonces seremos libres del temor, seremos libres para regocijarnos en la presencia de nuestro prójimo. Seremos libres para poder tomarnos de las manos, y como dice el salmo “Vamos a la casa del Señor”.  ¡Vayamos todos entonces regocijándonos a la casa del Señor!

First Reading

Is 2:1-5

PSALM

Ps 122: 1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

Second Reading

Rom 13:11-14

GOSPEL

Mt 24:37-44
Read texts at usccb.org

Jamie Phelps, O.P.

Sr. Jamie (aka “Sr.-Dr.” in some university contexts) has been a member of the Adrian Dominican Sisters since 1959.  Currently Sr. Jamie is a freelance Theologian, lecturer and a facilitator for Bible study at St. Ambrose and St. Thomas the Apostle parishes in Chicago and a lecturer for Pax Christi’s “Communities of Color Mobilizing for Peace” weekends. Prior to this, Sr. Jamie served as the Director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies and the Katherine Drexel Professor of Systematic Theology of Xavier University of Louisiana from 2003-2011.   Additional ministerial appointments included being a member of the theological faculties of the Catholic Theological Union (1986 ‑1998) and Loyola University (1998- 2003), both in Chicago, and a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Theology in the Religious Studies Department at the University of Dayton, Dayton Ohio (January-May, 2003).  She most recently completed a one-year visiting professorship in the Theology in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame (2012-2013).  She had previously taught at the University of Notre Dame as a visiting professor during the 2005-2006 academic term

Education

Dr. Phelps holds a B.A. in sociology from Siena Heights University, Adrian Michigan (1969), an M.S.W. in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago (1972); a M.A. in Theology from St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota (1975) and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC (1989) and an honorary doctorate from Aquinas Institute (2016). Her formal education has been augmented by participating in national and international seminars and conferences in the United States as well as Puerto Rico; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Jamaica; Toronto, Ottawa & Nova Scotia, Canada; Enugu, Nigeria; Johannesburg, Praetoria and Capetown, South Africa; Zimbabwe; and Rome, Italy.

Publications

She has edited two books Black and Catholic: The Challenge and Gift of Black Folk and coedited with Fr. Cyprian Davis, OSB Stamped in the Image of God: African Americans as God’s Image in Black. In addition, she has published more than fifty theological articles on issues of the mission of the Church, evangelization, inculturation, Christology, and spirituality. These articles have appeared in scholarly books and journals including The Bible Today, Missiology, New Theology Review, Theological Studies, U. S. Catholic Historian, Spiritual Traditions for the Contemporary Church edited by Gabriel O’Donnell and Robin Mass, A Troubling in My Soul: Womanist Reflections on Evil and Suffering edited by Emilie M. Townes, Taking Down Our Harps: Black Catholics in the United States edited by Diana Hayes and Cyprian Davis, and Black Faith and Public Talk, edited by Dwight N. Hopkins,  The Spirit in the Church and the Word edited by Braford E. Hinze and the 2008 Advent Meditation Booklet for Pax Christi.

Her most widely read article is “Communion Ecclesiology and Black Liberation Theology” Theological Studies, Vol. 61 #4 December, 2000. Currently she is in the process of research and writing a theological book on the local and global mission of the church in a multicultural society.

Theological Teaching Fields

Primary Areas-Systematic Theology: Ecclesiology (nature and mission of Church including evangelization, social justice,  inculturation, communion etc.,) Trinitarian Theology, Christology, Theology of Grace, Pneumatology, Spirituality, Faith and Revelation, Liberation Theologies Secondary Areas—Sociology, Culture and Race Theory

Institutional Development

Sr. Jamie believes in developing institutions to ensure the on-going growth and development of theology and ministry in the Catholic and Black Catholic Community. She was a founding member of  the Washington-based National Black  Sisters Conference in 1968; a major consultant for the founding of The Institute of Black Catholics Studies in 1982;  the inaugurator and founding director  of  the Catholic Theological Union’s Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program which prepares Black Catholic laypersons for ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago inaugurated in 1990 and the re-founder of  The Black Catholic Theological Symposium , a national inter-disciplinary theological  society for  Black-Catholics holding doctoral degrees in theology and related fields in 1991. 

Ministerial Experience

Currently Sr. Jamie is a freelance Theologian, lecturer and a facilitator for bible study at St. Ambrose and St. Thomas the Apostle parishes in Chicago and a lecturer for Pax Christi’s “Communities of Color Mobilizing for Peace” weekends. During the past 55 years she has devoted her life to public church ministry.  She has served the church and society as an educator, professional psychiatric social worker, community organizer, (Hansberry Parenting Project, Mercy Hospital and Chicago Child Care Society) pastoral minister, consultant, lecturer, liturgist, spiritual director, preacher, retreat director, administrator, scholar, theologian, author, editor and radio commentator and editor for NewYork’s Radio Solidarite.

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