Sunday, November 27, 2016

Reflection for the 1st Week in Advent, Part 1

Monday – The Lord's Glory

In today's first reading, the prophet Isaiah speaks of the Lord's glory. Just as God manifested His glory to the Israelites when they left Egypt and traveled through the desert, so will He cover Mount Zion and His Temple with that same glory in the same form, namely, the shekinah, the glory cloud that lit up with fire at night.

This glory of God, the prophet proclaims, will shelter and protect Israel, providing refuge from the parching heat and the destructive storm. From the midst of the shekinah, God will lead and guide His people, just as He did in ancient days. He will never leave them alone to fend for themselves, unless, of course, they reject Him. Even then, He will work to draw them back.

The Lord's glory covers us just as truly as it surrounded the Israelites and, in fact, in an even greater way. We may not see the shekinah, but we, who are temples of God when we are in a state of grace, are actually filled with God's presence. He dwells within our very souls, and His glory shelters and protects us from the dryness and destruction of life and the world. God leads and guides us. He does not leave us alone, and even when we turn our backs on Him, He reaches out to draw us back and wrap us again in His great glory.

Tuesday – Childlike

“I give You praise, Father, 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.”

Childlike. Here Jesus says that the childlike will receive the Father's revelation in a special way.

What does it mean to be childlike? Think about how children behave. Children run into the arms of their parents, knowing that they will receive comfort. We must do the same and run into God's arms. Children bring all of their problems to their parents, trusting that they will solve them. We must do the same and trust God with all of our problems and trials. He has solutions ready in His time and His way. Children are enthusiastic, eagerly sharing their joy and asking questions when they don't understand. We must do the same, confidently bringing our every joy and question to God. Children aren't afraid to cry when they are sad or scared or in pain. We must do the same, for God notices every one of our tears and consoles us.

Lord, make us childlike. May we trustingly run to You, lay before You all of our difficulties, enthusiastically share our joys and questions with You, and not be afraid to cry in Your arms. Then, when we are children in Your sight, may our hearts be ever more open to receive Your revelation with rejoicing. Amen.

Wednesday – They Followed Him

Peter and Andrew didn't hesitate for a moment. Jesus' call touched a place deep within their souls. They could have resisted, perhaps, but they would have been miserable, and they knew it. So when Jesus said, “Come after Me,” they followed Him.

James and John did the same. They were in the midst of their daily activities, mending their nets like they always did and visiting with their father, Zebedee, but when Jesus called them, they left immediately. The call was so strong that it drew them away from everything and everyone they loved, yet they went gladly.

How is God calling you? He wants you to follow Him in some way. What is He asking of you? How are you responding? Are you following Him immediately like Peter, Andrew, James, and John did, or are you hesitating? If you are hesitating, why? What might you do that you may better accept God's call in your heart and in your life?

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