for Sunday, December 22, 2013
What a God we have! Our God loves us and always reaches out to us. Our
God wants to save us from our brokenness and from all evil. This is a God
who constantly is seeking our company and seeking our love and actively
loving us. Some of us don't really believe that about God. Instead God is
some kind of a disciplinarian who has His rules and we spend our lives
trying to follow them or trying to evade them. Yet we are all called to
believe in this God who loves us and who invites us to love Him.
Throughout all of our Scriptures we see God breaking into human history,
telling us that He loves us. Yes, for sure, there are times when God
presents a moral code to us. That way of living is not meant to kill us
but it is meant to guide us so that we can have truly happy and joyful
lives. Far too often we can misunderstand the intent of moral codes.
The focus of the first reading today, from the Prophet Isaiah, is that God
Himself will send the Savior to us. We might be afraid to ask God for what
we need and for what could help us. This is a very different kind of
praying. Perhaps too often we ask for material help, for good things, for
whatever. The prayer that we can have today is very simple: God, send me
what I need to live a life of joy in your presence. Or we can pray as a
community: God, send us what we need so that we can respond to your love
with our own love.
The reading from the Letter to the Romans instructs us about the obedience
of faith: doing whatever God invites us to do. This continues the joy of
thinking of the birth of the Lord. Mary conceived by obedience to God's
word. You and I will have our lives changed by obedience to that same
word. We want to listen and to respond.
The Gospel today is about the response of Joseph to God's word. Once again
this is a model of how we can respond: listen, believe and act. We listen
by reading the Scriptures. We listen by paying attention to the teachings
of the Church. We listen by loving one another. In all of this we choose
to believe that God is present in a special way. The word to which we
listen must become alive in our lives and we must act on that word.
May our love for God transform us! May the contemplation of His Word help
us understand how to love others more! May our hearts go out to others and
be transformed by that love! May Christ be born in our world and in our
hearts and in every aspect of our human life!
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Isaiah 7.10-14
Second Reading: Romans 1.1-7
Gospel: Matthew 1.18-24
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: