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Thursday, First Week of Advent, 2010

December 2, 2010

Thursday, first week of Advent

Father, we need Your help,
Free us from sin and bring us to life.
Support us by Your power.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen (Opening Prayer from Mass)

Isaiah 26: 1-6 (the just will live in a protected city, but the lofty will be trampled underfoot)
Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 19-21, 25-27 “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”
+ Matthew 7:21, 24-27 (build your house on God’s will, so it will stand)

That’s a word we see a lot this time of year…
in the midst of our lack of peace over finding the right gifts, preparing the right atmosphere
and getting everything done in time.

We value peace.
We know Jesus came to bring it to us.
But we’re not so good at finding it.  Especially now.

All too often, Jesus could weep over us as He did over Jerusalem,

“If only you had known the path to peace this day;
but you have completely lost it from view” (Luke 19:42)

What is peace, anyway?
Is it something that just “happens” to a fortunate few,
who are spared the troubles of life?
Jesus seems to imply that there’s a path to peace,
that it can be known,
that it’s within our power to do something about it.

That’s where today’s readings come in.

There is a path to peace.

We can know this path, and follow it to a peace that’s unshakable.

“A nation of firm purpose You keep in peace;
in peace, for its trust is in You” -Isaiah 26:3

The strength that brings peace is divine.  No human effort can begin to compare.

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes”
-Psalm 118:8-9

The nation God keeps in peace is the one that takes refuge in the Him.
It keeps faith, putting His Word into action,
staying within the walls and ramparts (commands) He has set up to protect it.
This people doesn’t settle for the shifting sand of easy answers,
but wisely digs deep to set its foundation on the rock of divine revelation.

Nothing will shake that house.
Though the rains fall, the torrents rise and the winds blow and lash against this house,
its foundation will hold firm.
The longest lines, the crankiest people, the shortest deadlines
will only deepen the peace within…
precisely because it is not relying on its own strength.

This is the path to peace.

It’s not usually traveled in a day.
Most of us are woefully ignorant of divine revelation.
It takes time to soak in God’s Word
(as it comes to us through the Scriptures, Sacred Tradition
and the Magisterium)
and to break the bad habits that keep us from acting on it.
But we gain at every step, at every shovel-depth closer to the rock.

May you draw peace from God’s nearness on your path to peace today.

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