Isaiah 26:1-6; Matthew 7:21, 24-27
In the scriptures today we hear about floods and winds, rock and sand, destruction and security. Neither reading, however, is a sacred version of “This Old House,” for in both, God uses the images of building and buildings, homes and cities, to make a spiritual point. Our foundation must be firmly set on the Lord. This must not only be an idea, however, it must be a lived reality. Jesus reminds us that the proclamation of rootedness is not sufficient (although I do recall praying “Lord, Lord” as we crossed that angry river) but that we must DO the word of God. That is our true foundation. So too in Isaiah, it is not enough to have a strong city with mighty walls and ramparts but the city must contain a just and faithful nation. Jesus reminds us that houses built on sand crumble and Isaiah ups the ante by pointing out that even lofty cities can be tumbled.
Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
Behold, the Lord comes to save His people!
The readings for the middle of the first week of Advent are full of joyous anticipation for the coming of the Lord. To symbolize the great times to come, we are led to imagine that joyful people of all nations will enjoy a feast of rich, juicy foods and fine wines. Their gladness is heightened by the sure knowledge (…for the LORD has spoken) that God will lift the veil that veils all people, and destroy death forever. The first reading sets the tone for the anticipatory thoughts that, gently, but insistently, bring us, through an appeal to our senses, to the realization that the Lord is coming. Be happy and rejoice; one can literally sense the goodness of the Lord.
WALKING IN THE LIGHT OF THE LORD
Who “walks in the light of the Lord?” Matthew’s gospel tells us the story of the Centurian as an answer to this question. You remember that he asked Jesus to heal his servant boy who was paralyzed. It was when he said to Jesus, “Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof. JustGive an order and my boy will get better.” That Jesus responded with, “I have never found this much faith in Israel…Go home. It shall be done as you trusted. That very moment the boy got better.”
Psalms 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
In today's first scripture reading for Advent we hear once again from the great messianic prophet Isaiah.
As I read this scripture I am struck by Isaiah's blending of the past, present, and future. He begins with a reflection on the past when he says: "A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse." Jesse was a key figure in the Old Testament. He was the father of the great king David and the grandfather of Solomon. The name of Jesse was a familiar one to the people of Israel. Isaiah and the other prophets constantly reminded the people of Jesse and of the good times of Israel during the reign of his son and grandson. The people recalled a time of prosperity and good fortune for Israel.
Jer 33:14-16; 1Thess 3:12-13.4:1-2; Lk 21:25-28.34-36
WARNING……WARNING: ADVENT VIRUS
Be on the alert for symptoms of inner Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to this virus and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.
Some signs and symptoms of The Advent Virus:
On the 14th of November 2018, in the Ruhango Community, we were grateful to welcome ten candidates. All of them have the wish to join the (Pallottine) Missionary Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate. These candidates had stayed for five months in Masaka community to do language and some other courses and afterwards they came to the Community of Ruhango to enter postulancy.
From 1 to 31 October 2018, General Visitation was held in the Polish Province. The theme for the visitation was taken from the letter of St. Paul to Timothy: God gave us no spirit of fear but power and love and sober thinking (2 Tm 1, 7). The General Councilors, delegates of the General Superior, visited all of our communities in Poland. They travelled from North to South and from West to East traversing Polish roads in the picturesque autumn season. The visitation was marked by mutual openness, trust, joy of meeting together and sisterly sharing of faith experience and the richness of consecrated life. The beautiful liturgies were the heart of the visitation path, in search for sanctity and ways where the Province can fully develop.