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Tuesday, first week of Advent

December 2, 2007

Blessed Tuesday!

God of mercy and consolation,
help us in our weakness and free us from sin.
Hear our prayers that we may rejoice at the coming of Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Isaiah 11:1-10 (the gifts of the Holy Spirit bring peace and security)
Psalm 72: 1, 7-8, 12-13, 17 “Justice shall flourish in His time, and fullness of peace forever”
Luke 10: 21-24 (God reveals to children what He hides from the clever)

Today’s first reading is the inspiration for many Christmas cards: “the wolf shall be the guest of the lamb…the calf and the young lion will browse together” (Isaiah 11:6). Mixing images a little, the card will depict a lion and lamb curled up together under the word: “Peace”.

The Fathers of the Early Church understood this passage to refer to (among other things) the fierceness of pagan nations (wolves, lions, etc.) being subdued by the Gospel and submitting themselves to God’s “sheep”: the pastors of His Church.

This is another case of “the now and the not yet” of God’s promise to us. Jesus has come. The shoot has sprung from the root of Jesse. The promised Spirit of the Lord rested upon Him at His Baptism and He rejoiced in that Spirit when He praised His Father for revealing to mere children (His humble disciples) what remained hidden from the wise and learned. Jesus, the “little Child” God sent into the world, led wild and fierce sinners and demoniacs to peace in His Church. He sent His first bishops as little children (“whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like little a child shall not take part in it” -Mark 10:15) to do the same. To this day, enemies are reconciled through the Church. “Lion and lamb” worship together at Holy Mass. Even within the soul of a single individual, wild passions are subdued by the humility that comes from God.

But we do not yet experience the fullness, the perfection of the peace God has promised. There is still harm and ruin on God’s holy mountain. Neither we nor creation have yet been completely freed from the corruption caused by Original Sin. “Indeed, the whole created world eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God. Creation was made subject to futility…yet not without hope, because the world itself will be freed from its slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:19-21) This is why our Advent anticipation is also a longing for the end of time, for the return of our Savior and the perfection of His Kingdom.

Marana tha! Come Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20)

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