Daily Reflection – Dec 11, 2016
Sunday 11 December 2016
First Reading: Isaiah 35:1-6, 10
Lord, come and save us
Second Reading: James 5:7-10
Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:2-11
Today’s Note: Third Sunday of Advent
When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“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.”
They will see the glory of the Lord. (Isaiah 35:2)
Do you want to see “the glory of the Lord” this Advent? Of course you do! One of the ways to find this “glory” is by activating our spiritual instincts. We were all born with these instincts, and it’s something that the Holy Spirit wants to bring to life in us every day. While we have many instincts, let’s focus on just two of them.
First, we all have aesthetic instincts. Aesthetic instincts help us appreciate a beautiful work of art or the majesty of a snowcapped mountain peak. During Advent, we can ask the Spirit to help us see the beauty in that dank and unwelcoming manger. Picture the manger scene, and see what happens as you dwell on the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Second, we have contemplative instincts—instincts that come alive when we focus on a work of God. Do you remember how Mary pondered and treasured everything that happened when Jesus was born (Luke 2:19, 51)? When we ponder God’s word, perhaps in the Christmas stories in Matthew or Luke’s Gospels, our spiritual instincts will come alive, and the Holy Spirit will give us new insights into his love for us.
When you receive the Eucharist today, imagine yourself at the manger. Then pray, “Lord, show me your glory.” If you feel a sense of happiness or a desire to bow down and thank God or an impulse to reach out to someone who is hurting, take this as a sign that the Holy Spirit is enlivening your spiritual instincts.
As these instincts come to life, they will influence the way you think and act. You’ll find yourself becoming more loving, more forgiving, and more peaceful—especially in difficult times. God wants all his people to look to him and have their instincts awakened. And that includes you!
“Holy Spirit, come and bring my spiritual instincts to life. Lord, I want to see your glory!”