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Tuesday, second week of Advent (St. Ambrose)

December 7, 2010

Blessed St. Ambrose’ Day!

Click here for his story.

And for those of you who are looking forward to the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception tomorrow (make sure you have plans to get to Mass–it’s a holy day of obligation!) here are some fun ideas from Catholic Cuisine for making the day special at home.

Readings:
Isaiah 40:1-11 (prepare the way for our God, Who comes to shepherd us)
Psalm 96:1-3, 10-13 “Our Lord Comes in strength”
+ Matthew 18:12-14 (the Good Shepherd leaves the 99 to search for the stray)

Comfort, give comfort to My people!
-Isaiah 40:1

No matter what you’ve done, how badly you’ve strayed, God’s not “out to get you”!

As I live, says the Lord God,
I desire not the death of the wicked,
but that the wicked turn from his way and live.
-Ezekiel 33:11

He knows the dangers of being out from under His care;
the wild beasts, the snares, the hunger, the aching emptiness.
He knows the suffering you’ve encountered in the wilderness of the world.
He’s out to save you!

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her that her warfare is at an end
-Isaiah 40:2

If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them stray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the mountains
and go in search of the one that has strayed?
-Matthew 18:12

He will if He’s God!
You’re that important to Him.
He will not rest until He’s found you
–yes, straying, weakened, looking-like-something-the-cat-dragged-in little old you
hoisted you up on His shoulders
and called all His friends and neighbors to gather for a party
to celebrate your safe return (see Luke 15:5-6).

In His arms He gathers the lambs, carrying them in His bosom,
and leading the ewes with care
-Isaiah 40:11

You don’t have to worry about being good enough for Him.
That’s not why He loves you.
Yes, He loves your goodness, but that’s quite apart from His love for you.
He knows you’re as fragile as a flower in the desert,
wilting under a hot blast of dry wind (Isaiah 40:7).

He loves you because you’re His
because you need Him.
Your misery is your claim on His mercy,
your claim on His Heart.

we do not understand the value of our own weakness.
-Fr. Eugene Boylan, This Tremendous Lover

It is not our misery that gets in God’s way, but our importance.
-quoted by Fr. Bartholomew Gottemoller

How is your “importance” getting in God’s way?
How are you resisting His rescue mission on your behalf?
Are you afraid that you’re not “good enough” for His efforts,
trying to do the spiritual equivalent of “cleaning the house before the cleaning lady comes”?

It won’t work, you know.  You’re not strong enough.
And it would please Him so much to do it for you!
Nothing brings Him so much joy as rescuing the lost.
Besides, He’s already on His way…for you.

Behold the Lord God shall come with strength, and His arm shall rule:
Behold His reward is with Him and His work is before Him
-Isaiah 40:10

Welcome Him into the midst of the worst of your unworthiness and see what He will do.

Sing to the Lord; bless His Name;
announce His salvation, day after day
-Psalm 96:2

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