Daily Reflection
December 7th, 2001
Roc O'Connor, S.J.
Campus Ministry
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The Memorial of Saint Ambrose
Isaiah 29:17-24
Psalms 27:1, 4, 13-14
Matthew 9:27-31

First Installment - Stories about our saint today
St. Ambrose was a marvelous and colorful character.  He was elected bishop of Milan in the mid to late 4th century.  Problem was, he wasn't even a Christian!  So, he was baptized and made a bishop almost immediately.  In addition, he impressed the young Augustine because he did not move his lips when he read.  Instead, he gazed at the page he was reading more in contemplation than in proclamation.  Further, Ambrose insisted that the Washing of Feet was a sacrament.  He employed this ceremony at the Easter Vigil rites of initiation and often wondered 'out loud' why the church in Rome did not pick up this particular practice.

Second Installment - On Waiting
Being of Irish descent, I'm quite familiar with the experience called, "Waiting for the Other Shoe to Fall."  It's easy to dismiss this as merely a fault of character, but these days since September 11th I'm much more aware of this particular form of wariness. 

I check out CNN each morning with a slightly morbid curiosity:  What has happened?  Who's safe and who's not safe?  What new terror that lurked unseen during night has been discovered and brought to light by their team of highly photogenic journalists? 

So, my 'waiting' this Advent season is more about denying that terror exists and waiting for it to happen.  What a difference a day makes!

I pray for the grace to wait for God instead of just waiting for the fulfillment of my fears.  I pray that this part of Psalm 27 may be fulfilled this year.

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.

Third Installment - On the Demise of the Tyrant

The lowly will ever find joy in the Lord, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
For the tyrant will be no more and the arrogant will have gone;
All who are alert to do evil will be cut off.

I rejoice in the fall of the tyrant when I see the forces of the Taliban surrendering.  I would rejoice in the fall of the tyrant if and when Osama bin Laden is captured.  I would rejoice in the fall of the tyrant if and when those who spread anthrax through the mail are brought to justice.

But, where is that tyrant whose demise we await, except in your heart and in mine?  So, here is my other prayer for the season:  Teach me your ways, O God, and lead me in your pathways.

Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and those who find fault shall receive instruction.

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