Dec 1 2020 Reflection
Tuesday 1 December 2020
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.”
On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse. (Isaiah 11:1)
A good rain can produce a miracle in just about any desert. Seeds buried in dry earth are able to lie waiting for months, even years. Suddenly, in the right conditions, they sprout, and the desert floor bursts with color and life.
In a way, Israel waiting for the Messiah was like a desert waiting to burst into bloom. For many years, the nation had endured exile and oppression, with only occasional flashes of hope. King David’s once vibrant dynasty lay dormant, and the people were constantly tempted to follow the ways of the pagans around them. But God had spoken to this desert and promised a “shoot . . . from the stump of Jesse,” who would establish a kingdom of righteousness (Isaiah 11:1).
Then, centuries later, it happened! Jesus was born into David’s lineage, and he ushered in the kingdom with a breathtaking display of power and grace. But there’s a twist. Jesus’ ministry produced a different sort of “bloom” than what many were expecting. He had come to rescue people from sin, not Roman imperialism. And his great victory was won on the cross, not at the head of a liberating army. Still, for those who believed in him, the desert came alive with all the vibrant colors of grace, mercy, and joy.
Have you been through a desert this past year? Deserts are disorienting, and you may have more questions than answers as you deal with a pandemic, racial tensions, grief, financial hardship, or simply the demands of everyday life. Wearied and hurting, you may even wonder if God has turned his back on you.
But God wants you to know that wherever you are, he is with you. He has not forgotten you. He’s walking with you through this desert. He will always love you, and he’ll always, always be faithful.
As you wait for your prayers to be answered, consider the ways in which God’s grace may already be blossoming around you. The stark beauty of this desert may nudge you to pray and open you to receive the “rain” of God’s grace. By stripping away your comforts, this experience can even expose the unshakable faith that sits deep within your heart.
“Lord, help me see your grace in the desert.”