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Thursday, Third Week of Advent: Don’t Defeat God’s Plans!

December 15, 2011

Blessed Thursday!

Unworthy servants that we are, O Lord,
grieved by the guilt of our deeds,
we pray that you may gladden us
by the saving advent of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
(Opening Prayer from Today’s Mass)

Readings:
Isaiah 54:1-10 (God calls us back to bless us)
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13 “I will praise You, Lord, for You have rescued me”
Luke 7:24-30 (the least born into the Kingdom is greater than the greatest man born of woman)

[They] defeated God’s plan for them.
-Luke 7:30

I know well the plans I have in mind for you,
plans for your welfare, not for woe!
plans to give you a future full of hope
-Jeremiah 29:11

Those are the plans they defeated!

How?

by refusing baptism from St. John the Baptist
(see Luke 7:30)

…in other words, by refusing to cooperate with God’s plan for them.

God didn’t create us to be robots.
He doesn’t force us to be happy.
He gives us the dignity of choosing to participate in His plans for our welfare
–or to reject them.

Joyfully He calls out,

Enlarge the space for your tent,
spread out your tent cloths unsparingly;
lengthen the ropes and make firm your stakes.
-Isaiah 54:2

What if we don’t?

When God tries to send blessings for which we have not made room
–or worse, blessings which we actively resist
we lose.
We defeat His plans for us.
We suffer the woe which is not in His plans for us.

And His blessings often come in disguise:

If we do not rebel against the Lord in our trials,
but we do complain about the crosses He sends us,
then we deserve to have Him punish us
by taking away this powerful means of sanctification.
-Alexander de Rouville, The Imitation of Mary

Crosses are not woes.
The back-breaking work of building the ark was not a woe for Noah (see Genesis 6).
It was a participation in salvation,
cooperation in a future full of hope.

Had Noah complained, and God correspondingly prevented him from building the ark
that would have been a woe!
(especially when the rains began to fall…)

God has plans for you…
great plans, beautiful plans, extravagant plans.

The challenge that Christmas presents to the human heart
is to have a faith that’s great enough
to receive all that God, through His Son, desires to give.
-Roy Lessin

That’s what Advent is for–
to make room in your heart to receive all that God, through His Son,
desires to give.

Please don’t defeat His plans!

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