Sunday, December 11, 2016

Isaiah 35:1-6, 10, Psalm 146:6-10, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11


The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor. Is 61:1 (Lk 4:18)

Isaiah 35:1-6, 10, Psalm 146:6-10, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11

Isaiah 35:1-6, 10

My soul's beloved, as we read the words of Isaiah our hearts are filled with hope and longing for You to come again and reconcile the whole world and all creation to Yourself. The world today is so far away from the ideal that You came to reveal to us. You came to establish the Kingdom of God on earth and above all in the hearts of us all. You said peace is My gift to you but there has never been a time when the world has been so hopelessly divided. Our morals are in the gutter, all that is celebrated as necessary for us to live happy, fulfilled lives is the swill that is served to swine and yet we believe the lies, and we hanker to live up to the impossible ideal of the world's standard which required that we look a certain way and possess certain things in order to achieve them.

The world today is filled with people who are stressed, afraid, sick in spirit, addiction is rampant and as people try to fill their emptiness with things that simply cannot satisfy. Why has the world become deaf to the Voice of Truth. You came to give us life in all its fullness. You want to give us joy, You want to take our parched spirits, and hungry lives and make them bloom again. You want to make our hearts exult and sing joyful songs. You want to restore us to life, restore our visions, restore hearing. You want us to open our eyes and see the glory and splendor of living a life true to the Gospel.

To those who are growing weary and distressed as the world is drifting further and further away from You, the prophet offers encouragement and our hands are strengthened, our feet are made firm, our hearts are filled with courage. Our eyes grow bright with hope, our ears hear the tidings of great joy and we leap with joy and sing. For the Lord who has ransomed us will return in glory and there will be an end to sorrow and mourning as You return to give us everlasting joy in Your Presence. Hasten the day of Your coming Lord! Maranatha!

Psalm 146:6-10

My soul's beloved, Your Word is true, Your promises will be fulfilled. We believe Lord. You will secure justice for those who have been crushed under the heels of the wicked. You will satisfy their hunger. You will set free those who have known nothing by oppression. You have saved us all.  Those who have walked in darkness now walk in newness of life. Those who have come to know You walk in the freedom that belongs to all God's children who have been baptized and are given the right to call God, Father. Those who are powerless now have God as their Protector, their Brother, their Friend, their Beloved and these blessings are not only for those who are saved but for all generations. Thank You Lord for coming into the world and for saving us.

James 5:7-10

My soul's beloved, St. James often writes with such gloom and doom but not today. It is good for us to remember that the world is not doomed and going to hell as it may sometimes seem. For those of us who tend to get weary of the waiting for Your coming in glory, he as words of encouragement which sustains us. We are called to be patient and pray as we wait. God in His own time and in His own perfect way is reconciling all things just as He has promised, even though we cannot see it. The rain falls, the sun shines, the seed sprouts, the grain ripens and the harvest will be ready. In the meantime we are called to be vigilant over our own lives, our weaknesses, and pray constantly for grace to be steadfast in faith, hope and love, to the end.  We are called not be be judgmental, self-righteous, bigoted as we wait but to be tenderhearted, merciful, charitable and compassionate - imitating You who came for the sick not for the healthy.

My soul;s beloved, meek, humble and gentle of heart, make my poor sinful heart like Yours.

Matthew 11:2-11

My soul's beloved, for those of us who are tempted to ask, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?" We are directed to the works of grace evident all around us. The spiritually and the physically disabled are made whole in the awesome Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Good News is being preached from the rising of the sun to its setting and everywhere there is the celebration of the Paschal Mystery which opens the floodgates of grace and imbues the world with God's mercy and love. But there is a warning as well to those take offence at the Gospel but those who believe in it will be blessed.

You ask us not to look to the Church for  the temporary and the ephemeral but for the everlasting and the permanent. The Church will not condone the culture of the day or its values if they are contrary to those of the Gospel. To those who cry out for the Church to conform to the world You say, 

“What did you go out to the desert to see?

A reed swayed by the wind?

Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women 
there has been none greater than John the Baptist; 
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

Let us never forget my soul's beloved that the greatest all all the virtues is true humility.

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