taking the words of Jesus seriously

During Advent, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus coming into the world, I am challenged and inspired by Jesus. Who is Jesus? What does it mean to be His disciple?  If we, as Christians truly believe that Jesus is our Savior, Incarnation of God in the world, the Word made flesh, then we must act accordingly. For it is in Jesus that we place our ultimate faith and trust and nothing else. And it is in listening to and believing in the Angel Gabriel’s admonition to Mary that “nothing will be impossible with God,” that we discover our true hope.

Living in a time of perpetual war, climate chaos, escalating nuclear threat, economic inequality, pervasive poverty, racial violence, mistreatment of immigrants, mass shootings, rampant sexism, mass incarceration, and political instability, how can I and all followers of Jesus make the Word flesh? Reflecting and praying about this question and how we can be faithful to the gospel, I offer this Advent meditation and prayer.

Disarm Our Hearts
In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
Jesus was in the beginning with God,
All things came to be through Him. (John 1: 1-3)

Jesus, light of the human race,
light overcoming darkness,
it is You who we seek during this Advent time.

For You are the Incarnation,
the Word made flesh
who dwells among us.

It is You, Jesus, our Savior, that we will follow,
and no other earthly principality or power.
May Your spirit of love and nonviolence fill our hearts and the hearts of people everywhere
as we strive to renounce all killing and make God’s reign of justice and peace a reality in our world.

Jesus, Son of God, Human One, Healer, Peacemaker, Redeemer, our only hope,
help us to disarm our hearts and our world of violence, racial hatred, and fear.
Empower us to abolish war, all weapons—from nuclear weapons to killer drones to handguns—
revere our environment, and safeguard all creation. Help us to respect the dignity of each person, welcome the immigrant and refugees, end sexism, reject torture, and transform structures and policies that
cause and perpetuate poverty, oppression, discrimination, and social injustice.

Help us, dear Jesus, during this holy Advent season,
to make Your Word flesh,
to rid ourselves and our world of all that wounds, divides, and destroys,
and become channels of your peace, justice, mercy, and reconciling love.
For nothing is impossible with God.

Come Lord Jesus!


About The Author


Art Laffin is a member of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington, D.C., where he lives with his wife and son. For nearly four decades, Art has been an organizer, writer and speaker in the faith-based nonviolent movement for peace, social justice, and eradicating poverty and war. He has participated in numerous actions for abolishing nuclear weapons, killer drones and all weapons, ending U.S. warmaking in Iraq and Afghanistan, prohibiting torture and racial violence, and upholding human rights for the homeless, immigrants, the poor and prisoners. He has been imprisoned for his involvement in the Trident Nein and Thames River plowshares actions, as well as for other nonviolent protests, including ending U.S. military intervention in Central America. He has also traveled to war zones in Northern Ireland, Central America, Palestine and Iraq to stand with people who are nonviolently resisting war and occupation. Since his brother's murder in 1999, he has been actively involved in campaigning against the death penalty with the Journey of Hope. He is co-author of "The Risk of the Cross" and co-editor of "Swords Into Plowshares." He has also published articles in the National Catholic Reporter, Maryknoll Magazine, Sojourners, The Catholic Worker, The Hartford Courant, Tikkun Magazine and Pax Christi USA.

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