Why this useless murmuring?
Why this tumult among nations,
among peoples this useless murmuring?
They arise, the kings of the earth,
princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed.
These are the first 4 lines of psalm 2, words I am sure I’ve read before but only today, on this first Sunday of Advent, do they echo in my mind and my heart, shadowing me with sorrow and helplessness at the plight of our tumult filled world, the dreary and endless litanies of war, violence and hatred. The useless murmuring of so many voices ceaselessly preaching anger, fear and hopelessness.
There was a time, not so long ago,
when I knew nothing of this season of Advent…and Christmas was simply another time filled with way too much to do: parties to attend, gifts to purchase, decorations to unpack and display: in celebration of something I knew nothing about.
Jennifer Hubbard is the mother of one of the children killed in the 2013 December 14th shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Her little girl was named Catherine Violet, the smiling and beautiful red haired 6 year old we saw pictured among all the others killed on that tragic day. A parishioner at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Jenny offered to speak to a gathering of the grade school parents a month after the shooting.
When asked how she could summon the courage to do this, Jenny answered that, “There is a Presence that is so much better than ourselves that we have to acknowledge it.” And she ended her talk with these comments:
“I know that God has a specific purpose for us, and while I may not understand right now how I will muster the strength to fulfill his purpose, I must remain centered on his face…I pray that we find comfort and solace knowing that God loves each one of us and will wrap each one of us in his arms when the days become too much. I pray that the world returns to their faith.”
We tend to think heroic faith is the stuff of Marvel Comics until
we look more deeply at what came before. Now a well-known writer and speaker Jennifer speaks to others about her journey away and back to God. Openly sharing the “deal she made with God” when her son lay in a NICU.
Hubbard spoke of how she had drifted away from practicing her childhood faith. But that changed when her son Frederick was in the NICU.
“I made a deal with God: you bring my baby home, and I promise I’ll go to church. It was if I could make a wager with God—and the beauty of that is, God took my wager and Frederick came home and we started going to church,” she said…“What breaks my heart is that God knew what was to come, and God was preparing me, so He took whatever I was willing to give. With that one hour on Sunday morning, He could grow me into that person I am today…“God was preparing me for what would happen on December 14—He knew I needed to be rooted in something, and that I had a place to go when I needed Him the most.”God is Faithful Always