Spirituality Corner

"II your heart is alert for his coming, he knocks and asks for the door to be opened to him.”

December 5, 2021 - 2nd Sunday of Advent

St. Ambrose shares some wisdom on our need to prepare the way and open the door for Christ. “You see that when the Word of God knocks hardest on your door, it is when his hair is wet with the dew of the night. In fact, he chooses to visit those who are in tribulation and trial, lest one of them be overwhelmed by distress. So, his head is covered with dew, with drops, when his body is laboring hard. It is important to keep watch so that when the Bridegroom comes, he is not shut out. If you are asleep and your heart is not keeping watch, he will go away without knocking; but if your heart is alert for his coming, he knocks and asks for the door to be opened to him.” When life gets overwhelming and difficult and we find ourselves feeling a bit downhearted and miserable, these words can bring great comfort.

We sometimes choose to remain stuck in our uncomfortable darkness and being stuck becomes our norm. In this time of self-focus our hearts are closed to the graces and life God desires to give us. Wrapped in the robe of mourning and misery, we fail to see the mercy, justice, and love the Bridegroom wants to bring. If we take seriously the need to prepare the way for Christ and open our hearts in preparation for his visit, we can hear God’s gentle voice calling us deep within. It beckons us to seek out its source and discover the inner calm and peace that can prevail over the darkness of despair. Sometimes our darkness is so dark that it may seem unsurmountable. Trusting in the spiritual friends who journey with us, and God’s promise may bring a glimmer of light even when it is most difficult to keep our hearts’ doors open. Sometimes, the only light in the darkness is found in trusting the faith of others both past and present.

We have to trust that God has already begun the accomplishment of good work in us and that humanity is on an incredible journey to something wonderful and awesome. God is not done. When we open the doors of our hearts, straighten the paths of our lives, and prepare the way, Jesus can come with God’s simple gifts of peace, grace, and joy. Life throws a great deal at us. It is easy to get tired and confused. We have to train our hearts to keep watch, discern what is of value, and forge ahead. Not allowing ourselves to become so weighed down by things and brought out of focus is a tremendous goal to achieve this Advent season. God is knocking. Answer the door. You will see and understand life in ways you never thought possible before.

©LPi

We need to prepare the way of the Lord, to make straight His paths.

God’s Personal Assistants

If you have ever planned a large-scale event, whether it’s a musical performance or a religious conference, you may have dealt with someone’s personal assistant. Possibly this person would be a representative of the keynote speaker or the master of ceremonies for the local bishop; perhaps it’s even the staffer of a local politician or the lackey of a well-known musical act.

Personal assistants are masters of stewardship — overseeing things in their boss’ absence. They prepare the way. This person’s job is to get everything ready for the person in charge, so that when he or she shows up — whoever he or she is — it’s smooth sailing for them to do whatever it is they need to do: sing, speak, pray, mingle, what-have-you. It’s usually a big job full of little things, a gig where attention to detail is key.

God is the guest of honor in our life, the keynote speaker, the main event. And what He wants — what He needs — to do is to change our hearts. Constantly, over, and over, and over again.

We are all His personal assistants in this endeavor. We need to prepare the way of the Lord, to make straight His paths. We need to make everything ready so that when He shows up — however He shows up, whether it’s in the form of a neighbor in need or a burning bush right in front of us — everything is ready for Him to do His job.

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS  ©LPi

Scripture - Week of December 5, 2021

Monday: Is 35:1-10/Ps 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14 [cf. Is 35:4f]/Lk 5:17-26

Tuesday: Is 40:1-11/Ps 96:1-2, 3 and 10ac, 11-12, 13 [cf. Is 40:10ab]/Mt 18:12-14

Wednesday: Gn 3:9-15, 20/Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4 [1]/Eph 1:3-6, 11-12/Lk 1:26-38

Thursday: Is 41:13-20/Ps 145:1 and 9, 10-11, 12-13ab [8]/Mt 11:11-15

Friday: Is 48:17-19/Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6 [cf. Jn 8:12]/Mt 11:16-19

Saturday: Sir 48:1-4, 9-11/Ps 80:2ac and 3b, 15-16, 18-19 [4]/Mt 17:9a, 10-13

Next Sunday: Zep 3:14-18a/Is12:2-3, 4, 5-6 [6]/Phil 4:4-7/Lk 3:10-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharing the Gospel

Have you ever played a game where you asked for a "do-over" so you could try again? When John told his neighbors to be baptized, he wanted them to have a second chance, A "do-over." He wanted to give them a fresh, clean start with God.

Prayer

Dear God, when I find myself doing or saying things that you would not like, help me to stop and start over.

Something to Draw

Draw John washing someone in a river.

Mission for the Week

When you catch yourself being selfish, not following directions, or using hurtful words, stop. Say you're sorry, ask for forgiveness, and then try again.

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Reflect & Resond to Scripture

First Reading:

Baruch offers the captive Israelites in Babylon a vision of hope in which their broken relationship with God will be fully restored.

What aspects of your relationship with God are in need of restoration?

Second Reading:

Paul offers an opening prayer of joy for the believers in the city of Philippi.

As the season of Advent continues, what brings joy to your life?  

Gospel:

With Luke placing the preaching and activities of John the Baptist in its historical and political context, he communicates the idea that God is acting in real, human history.

What do you see as the power of this assertion?

©LPi

 


God already has the solution.