Monday, December 3, 2012

First Week of Advent
Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Let us begin with Isaiah's words that describe the prophet's perception of the Son of God.  You will gain much today if you read these words slowly and even more if you read them a second or third time.  Let you mind and heart hear the words.  Remember these are words about Jesus who is to come.

 The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A Spirit of counsel and of strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land's afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.

What our minds and hearts might see and hear in these words are the prophetic gift of the Holy Spirit.  Consider that these same gifts are what we seek for ourselves in our daily experiences.  Notice the pairings that Isaiah puts before us: first, a Spirit wisdom and of understanding; second, a Spirit of counsel and of strength; and lastly, a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord.

Isn't Advent a season when we strive to prepare for a deeper awareness of the birth of Jesus on the one hand but secondly to hear the whispering voice of God leading us to know ourselves more completely, to understand what gifts of the Spirit might be lacking in my own life.

Since the proclamations of the documents of Vatican II, justice has become a major concern or effort in our Church.  How challenging it is for so many to accept the call to assure especially the poor and those marginalized by society that justice shall also be the band around our waists.

Consider what happens when these gifts of the Holy Spirit become a part of our world, our community, our lives ... especially in the life of our families.

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra's den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.

Peace and harmony come to be when justice is a reality in the hearts and minds of the men and women who proclaim that "Jesus is Lord."  Imagine what our world, our communities, our families, yes, even my own life will be like when knowledge of the Lord abounds among God's people ... "as water covers the sea."  Amen!