Sunday, November 29, 2015

Reflections for the 1st Week in Advent, Part 1

Monday – They Left Everything

“Come after Me.” When Peter and Andrew heard Jesus speak these works, they dropped their nets and followed Him. There was no hesitation, no questions, no hemming and hawing, no “But, wait...” They simply left their old lives behind and started new lives with Jesus. John and James did the same thing, even leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired help. Something in that simple call must have touched a place deep down in their hearts and changed them in an instant.

What would you have done if you had been in the place of Peter, Andrew, John, and James? Would you have left everything behind and followed Jesus? Or would you have come up with a dozen excuses not to step out of your comfort zone? 

Perhaps our Lord actually is calling you. He has a mission specially designed for each one of us, and in order to fulfill it and to follow God's plan for our lives, we often have to let go of things we enjoy. We have to step out into the unknown and trust our Lord to lead us where we need to go. 

Are you ready? Will you listen to Jesus' call? Will you follow Him along the path He has set for you? Will you let Him lead? Do you trust Him? 

During this Advent season, spend some time reflecting on these questions and pray that Jesus will pour so much of His grace into your heart that your answers will always be a resounding “Yes!”

Tuesday – Childlike

In today's Gospel, Jesus, in a prayer of praise to His Father, remarks that God has hidden the things of Heaven from “the wise and the learned” but has instead “revealed them to the childlike.” 

What does it mean to be childlike before God? Childlike people possess the following qualities:

* Childlike faith in God and in His plan for their lives

* Childlike hope that God will make everything turn out for the best in the end

* Childlike love that puts God first and wills the best for everyone else

* Childlike trust in God's purposes and decisions

* Childlike dependence upon God to take care of all needs

* Childlike excitement in God's revelation and His little miracles

* Childlike wonder at God's amazing deeds and His amazing Self

* Childlike openness that accepts everything from God's hand

Lord, make me childlike in faith, hope, love, trust, dependence, excitement, wonder, and openness. Help me to welcome Your revelation with joy and live it in love. Amen.

Wednesday – I Fear No Evil

“Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for You are at my side with Your rod and Your staff that give me courage.”

“I fear no evil.” How many of us can speak these words in truth? How many of us can place ourselves completely in God's hands and trust that He will protect us and give us courage to cope with whatever may happen to us? How many of us refuse to worry about trials and sufferings but instead offer them up to God with gratitude? 

Honestly, most of us would have to admit that we have plenty of fears and that we have a difficult time “letting go and letting God” take care of us. 

Today and throughout the rest of the week, then, let's pray this verse of Psalm 23 with sincerity and ask God to give us the grace to put aside our fears and snuggle close in His loving arms.

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