Cross and Anchors statue in foreground with snow covered campus

December 12, 2021

Sunday of the Third Week of Advent
By Fr. Thomas O'Hara, C.S.C., '71
President Emeritus, Academic Advisor

 

As we continue to move closer to Christmas, the readings today speak of our need to be joyful and celebrate. We are encouraged to exult and be glad with all our hearts and to have no anxiety, but let the peace of God dwell within us. These readings have prompted me to think how celebration has been a part of my life at King’s.

I have loved King’s College for a long time. I have known it as a student, a professor, a president and now as an advisor to student athletes. And as I think about how much joy this community has created in my life over those many years, I am often drawn to our yearly commencement celebrations.

As a student, I remember - even in a hot gymnasium – the joy and excitement of walking across the stage and sensing the pride of my parents who sacrificed so much to get me to that point. As a professor, I remember welling up in pride as my students made that same joyful walk across the stage. As President, I remember, having the honor and great joy of handing diplomas to smiling new graduates. In all those cases, celebration was everywhere present. New graduates, faculty, staff, families, friends and administrators were united in a community of joy.

Today’s readings call us to unite as a community of joy. We are told to have no anxiety within us by “letting the peace of God dwell within us, a peace that overcomes all anxiety, all fear” When I think of those great days of celebration at graduations, even amid immense joy, surely there was some anxiety as new graduates moved onto the next stages of their lives. And today, even as we are encouraged to be joyful, of course there is anxiety in our lives as we look at serious divisions in society, a pandemic, rising prices of goods and services, and so many other societal problems that affect us and our families. But we listen to today’s readings and we rejoice, we are glad, for the peace of God will sustain us even in anxious times. For the Lord is near and his peace wins over any anxiety the world presents to us. Be confident in that and be at peace. Come Lord Jesus!

To read today's readings and all readings this Advent Season, please visit https://bible.usccb.org/.