First Tuesday of Advent

December 1, 2020

First Reading Isaiah 11:1-10
Gospel Luke 10:21-24

Artwork by Nicole P. | Class of 2023

...But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.

- Rainer Maria Rilke

It is a trade secret that some of the most interesting conversations happen in high school teachers’ lounges. Educators, when worrying over their Tupperware lunches and planning upcoming classes, will just as soon have a conversation about the meaning of life as they will about what movie to watch over the weekend. Anything and everything is fair game, and it’s always a good time.

This is likely the result of bringing together people who are extremely intelligent and matching them up with others who are just as capable, but who also have an entirely different epistemic view of the world. The results of these ad hoc conversations are what color and characterize Kennedy Catholic. This is not something unique to high school teachers, either.

Always, and everywhere at once in society, each of us is briefly joining, separating, and joining again in a beautiful sharing of perspectives.

However, I don’t think I am alone when I say that sometimes I feel as if I am being encouraged to be skeptical of those voices who are different from mine. I need only turn on the television to be shown an assemblage of things which are designed to capture my attention - by angering me, or making me scared, or making me feel obliged to judge over my fellow human.

During the Advent Season I am thankful for my faith, and I am thankful for the opportunity to reflect on the visions of Isaiah 11:1-10, where the promise of God’s holiness will see a comradery and solidarity among all His creatures. We are reminded as we await the Second Coming of Jesus to be ever vigilant of our impressions of justice due to others. Unlike the King and Messiah, the branch growing from the stump of David’s father, Jesse, we are incomplete in our hubris of judgement. We, therefore, must always return, instead, to utterly loving the expanse between ourselves.

By Conor Doyle