Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
December 1, A.D. 2004
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
The Shadow of Death
The Lord of hosts will destroy
The veil that veils all peoples,
The web that is woven over all nations.
He will destroy death forever. (Isaiah 25:7-8)
Death hangs over every one of us like a veil. God is wise and merciful to hide the reality of death from us, because living constantly in its shadow would be unbearable. God endowed us with the ability to repress our awareness of death so we can carry on our lives. We go about life on the assumption that we will always be part of the world. We work and plan as though we have a permanent place here. If we could not push the reality of death out of our consciousness, all our efforts would be meaningless. Despair would be the only logical response to life.
But we cannot avoid the reality of death all the time. It is all around us, and at times it touches us. One after another it steals away our loved ones. And in times of sober reflection we acknowledge that it will eventually take us away too.
Nothing can save us from the utter despair of death but the hand of a loving God. We who dwell in the shadow of death look to God as our source of hope. He came into the world as man and accepted death to show us the way to eternal life. By his death he shed light on the deepest paradox of human life - that we must cherish our life as an inestimable gift of God, and then lay it down in death to become a new creation in eternal life.
Lord Jesus Christ, your light from on high breaks upon us, to shine on us who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace. Keep us watchful for your coming, that we may be ready and eager to enter eternal life with you.
- John Gedbaw
Lives of the saints:
Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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