Fourth Week of Advent, Dec. 20-24
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Greetings of peace!

Next week will be the fourth and final week of Advent and included below is the Pray-Study-Act (PSA) e-bulletin for our last week of Advent. (You can find a link to the PSA for this 3rd week of Advent and other seasonal resources on our site by clicking here.)

This upcoming final week, leading up to Christmas, is centered around the theme of love. The difficulties and pains of this year have highlighted the need for community care more than ever before. This agape love for our neighbors is at the heart of Advent & our progress forward as a society. 

Through acts of service and solidarity, we are able to carry the spirit of Advent with us throughout the year to create a more equitable and just world. As the Advent season concludes and we enter Christmas, I hope that we are able to continue showing up for our neighbors and being the Church for one another. Thank you all for contributing to this community and spending moments throughout Advent with us!
In Advent peace,

Lauren Bailey
Pax Christi USA National Field Organizer
A reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec. 20
by Donna Grimes
The reflection below by Donna Grimes first appeared in our Advent-Christmas 2005 reflection booklet. Donna is the Assistant Director for African American Affairs in the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. She is a former member of the Pax Christi USA National Council.

Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of God;
let it be with me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38a)
In today’s reading from 2 Samuel, the exchange between God and King David through the prophet Nathan gave me a jolt of reality. “When King David was settled in his palace, and God had given him rest from all his enemies on every side,” David reflected, “Here I am living in a house of cedar while the Ark of God dwells in a tent!” (2 Sam 7:1-2)

First, God posed the question, “Should you build me a house to dwell in?” (2 Sam 7:5b). Next, God Almighty, Creator of the Universe, wrapped it up with a few poignant examples, attached a big new perspective, and handed the shepherd-king an amplified response. Generations later, God reveals the Blessed Mother as the true Ark of God. She has been called the Ark of the Covenant.

We who are settled in our own palaces in this land of luxury can learn a lot about humility in these passages. On the personal and individual level, David’s question exposes a veneer of deference to God. Perhaps, like David, we may be profoundly impressed with ourselves at this point in our lives. We may move about in the world pleased with our accomplishments, appreciative of certain professional and material achievements, even privately celebrating our spiritual growth...

>> Also see this, "An Advent Credo", by Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace Dan Berrigan, SJ...
Advent is a time of both waiting & action on climate change
by Dan Misleh, Founding Executive Director of the Catholic Climate Covenant
This Advent, the waiting is all-consuming. We are waiting to see how our makeshift Christmas plans will turn out. We are waiting for the end of the pandemic. We await a government transition. Now seems like a great time for Christ to renew the face of the Earth.

For those of us who have watched closely as wildfires and hurricanes devastated our country in 2020, we are also waiting for the world to get serious about action on climate change.

Five years ago, on Dec. 12, the nations of the world finally decided together to stave off the worst of the climate disruption that has threatened lives and livelihoods around the world. Earlier in that year of 2015, Pope Francis created a media storm with his encyclical Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home, followed by his visit to the United States.

For some of us deeply immersed in Catholic messages on ecology, it looked like the wait was over. Catholic statements had been building up to Laudato Si' for decades — for example, even back in 1981, leading U.S. bishops warned of "climatic changes" due to burning fossil fuels that could "jeopardize food supplies" and "trigger catastrophic flooding."...

>> Also: Read Heather Navarro's article, "Injustice, inequity lie at the heart of the U.S. failure to engage on climate change", part of our series further exploring the priorities and issues in our Statement of Principles leading up to the 2020 election.
Three actions to address the climate crisis now!
1) Use this tool created by the Global Footprint Network to calculate your carbon footprint. After accessing your results, commit to two actions your household can take over the next year to lower your impact.

2) Click here to write to the Biden Transition Team to urge the incoming administration to rejoin the Paris Agreement on day one in office. 

3) Watch the webinar from the Catholic Climate Covenant, "What Now for U.S. Catholic Action on Climate Change and Creation Care?" to understand what we can expect to see in a Biden administration and in the next Congress and how U.S. Catholics can organize and advocate within an integral ecology framework.
LAST WEEKLY ADVENT PRAYER SERVICE ON DEC. 21: Join Pax Christi USA for our final 30 minute Advent prayer service on Monday, December 21st at 8:30pm ET. We will be joined by Michelle Sherman, one of the authors of the Advent booklet, to reflect and share in community with one another. Click here for more information and to register.