Daily Reflection – Dec 5, 2017
Tuesday 5 December 2017
First Reading: IS 11:1-10
Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
PS 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
Gospel Reading: LK 10:21-24
Today’s Note: Tuesday of the First Week of Advent
Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
“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.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
Turning to the disciples in private he said,
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
For I say to you,
many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
When we are preoccupied with news of war and destruction, it is important to return to the vision of what the world could be. Isaiah offers us a wonderful image of a world at peace:
‘Calf and lion cub eat food together with a little boy to lead them. The lion eats straw like the ox. The infant plays over the cobra’s hole; into the viper’s lair, the young child puts his hand. They do no hurt, no harm, on all my holy mountain’.
This is an image of an impossible possibility, different from the world we know, a new world of which we dream. As we let it bud in our mind, we are drawn to love and see the world in which we live as wholeheartedly and as confidently as a child might. Our prayer takes us back to our childhood.
The Gospel also encourages us to be childlike in our faith. Jesus is full of joy when he thanks God for showing the reality of the world ‘to mere children’. A faith that is clever can disregard the scars of the world. A faith that is childlike sees them as wounds on a beautiful world.
Pope Francis invites us to enter deeply into the beauty and wonder of the world of which we are part. To do this is not nature worship but comes from a deep respect for God’s creation. We can find God’s presence in all the variety and beauty of our world, and be drawn by them into a prayer of thanksgiving. Pope Francis writes,
‘The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul but also to discover God in all things. Saint Bonaventure teaches us that “contemplation deepens, the more we feel the working of God’s grace within our hearts, and the better we learn to encounter God in creatures outside ourselves”.’
That wonder and respect are the beginning of a conversion that will lead us into a deeper respect and a more delicate care for our world and a commitment to the struggle for the protection of our environment. It is worth praying for.