“Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit” Luke 23:46
Letting go of someone we love can be incredibly painful. How do remain faithful to His will and yet understand at a certain point it’s time to let go and let God? We will be faced in life with one of the toughest decision ever, to say: “Do not be afraid … I love you, God loves you … it’s time for you to go in peace. … I won’t cling to you any longer … I set you free to go home … go gently, go with my love.” Saying this from our heart is a true gift. It is the greatest gift love can give. But it’s hard, really hard, It’s only through the strength I receive from Him that I have the courage to be this messenger.
“But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” Isaiah 11:1
The imagery suggests the need for a new beginning, to spring from the very origin from which David and his dynasty arose. That beginning is found in the birth of the Jesus. He is the hope we have been waiting for. Is there something in your life that seems dried up? Think again! Look at all of the enemies of your hope and then rejoice in the life that is to come.
“Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.” Luke 10:21
The transformative nature of coming to Christ is a wonderful picture of how we obtain that childlike nature. The cruelly voracious individual is made meek, the angry man into gentleness, the fierce into mildness, the proud is now humble, and the annoyed is now pleased. Help me Lord to incline myself towards you today that I might be all that is good and gracious in the childlike.
The Word Among Us
“The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him.” Isaiah 11:2
This reading brings back the words of Confirmation and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. I am particularity drawn to the gift of Fortitude or Courage. The dictionary defines courage as the ability to confront fear in the face of pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. Christians identify courage as the virtue of fortitude, which the Catechism of the Catholic Church says “enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions.”
When Archbishop Oscar Romero spoke out for the poor of El Salvador, he knew he was putting his own life in danger, and he was strengthened by the courage that is a gift of the Holy Spirit. What are we challenged with in our lives? How can we call upon the gift of courage to strengthen our faith in stepping out to serve the least, the lost, and the forgotten?
Give Us This Day
“The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them” Isaiah 11:6
As Pablo Picasso wisely remarked late in his life, “It takes a long time to become young.” As I recently witnessed the first steps of our first grandchild, I was amazed at the wonderment that filled my heart as I watched his joyful bounding in the garden. Three days into the season of Advent and our readings remind us of the need to recall our child nature. To once again be led by an unflinching and unwavering trust in the Lord. Let us, with childlike wonder, embrace the unconditional love of God.
“Putting on the mind of Christ” . . . [is] what we are actually supposed to be doing on this path: not just admiring Jesus, but acquiring his consciousness. —Cynthia Bourgeault
When we seek what is truest in our own tradition, we discover we are one with those who seek what is truest in their tradition. There is a point of convergence where we meet each other and we recognize each other as seekers of awakening.
In Scripture St. Paul writes, “May the mind that is in Christ Jesus also be in you” (Phil 2:5). This is the truest depth of our Christian tradition, what it truly means to be a disciple of Jesus. We are called to recognize, surrender to, and ultimately be identified with the mystery of God utterly beyond all concepts, all words, and all designations. This is our destiny.