Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
December 6 A..D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Anne Rice a prolific popular writer, has recently written a very moving autobiography, "Called Out of Darkness." It's about her spiritual journey from a devout Catholic childhood in New Orleans to years of atheism, then back to her Catholic faith.
At the core of Anne's entire journey is the power of Jesus' love for us in the mystery of the Incarnation. She fondly remembers all the Christmas manger scenes elaborately displayed in all the many churches of the city. As a child, she often pondered the mystery of how a God could ever have loved us so much as to become a tiny, helpless baby? In love, He freely chose to be born; in love, He freely chose to die.
All that was blotted out during her years as an atheist, but it was the mystery of God's love which brought her back to faith, and continues to strengthen her faith now.
Advent is all about the Incarnation - - that awesome moment when God, because of His love, entered our flesh to experience our sinful condition - - and to love, to repair it and to lead us to wholeness. That's why, in this second week, we must listen again to the urgent demand of John the Baptist that we recognize our sinfulness, bring it to light, and repent.
Like the people of Israel, whose deep-down desire to be free of their sin brought them running to the desert, so we who hear today's Gospel must consider John's message as addressed to us. Only when we are convinced again this Advent of our need for new grace to restore and refresh our hearts, can we truly appreciate the words of Baruch in the first reading, to come alive, to put on new garments of justice, and to be alert and ready.
Only then, can love stir in our hearts as we gaze at the manger scenes in churches and public squares and in our own living rooms. St. Paul's letter to the Philippians reminds us of our partnership in the Gospel, and that we are committed to increase our love all through our lives so that we will be "pure and blameless in the day of the Lord." If that message is intimidating, why not just focus on this year's coming of the Lord?
Love can be so vague, unless we center it on holy people, like John the Baptist whose life was so self-effacing and courageous. His voice fades away so that all attention may be focused on Jesus. May we keep the words of John in our hearts all this week.
~ Msgr. Paul Whitmore
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Sunday, December 6, 2009
Second Sunday of Advent
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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