A dark night yields to a dark, cold, blustery December morning, snowflakes fluttering in the air. My prayer is filled with heartache, uncertainty, powerlessness, and struggle in giving all to God to shed light in this darkness.

The words of Isaiah are a mainstay of Advent scriptures. Isaiah reminds me that even in this pained moment of humility and sadness, the love of the Lord always stands with me and surrounds me. Today, this assurance of God’s love, constancy and peace restores the hope and grace of my Advent. The love of the Lord will stand, as the song verse noted long ago, bringing me from the nether world and preserving me again as weeping yields to rejoicing and mourning into dancing.

Luke reminds us that none is greater prophet than the Baptist, yet none less likely in visage and presentation. Today, may this unlikely messenger lead me to peace.

—Mary Burke-Peterson  is a parishioner at St. Nicholas Church, Evanston, an active volunteer in the Ignatian Spirituality Project, and a graduate student at Institute for Pastoral Studies at Loyola University.