As we are getting ready to celebrate Christ’s birth, the first reading reminds me of the power of His word and of His power. The metaphor of the grass withering and the flower wilting,“ when the breath of the LORD blows upon in” while “the word of our God stands forever” is a powerful reminder that I have to make time to reflect on His word. My daily routines, particularly during this busy holiday season, distract me. Somehow, I can find the time to balance baking cookies, making chocolate truffles, writing cards, teaching, doing research, and enjoying holiday parties, but I don’t seem to find the time for reflection. My priorities all too often are those of checking off the list of things to do, but my list does not include time for prayer and reflection. I often forget that I can reflect while I am baking, that I can give thanks for the friendships and my family while I am writing their cards, or that I can share the power of words in the Daily Reflection. However, I also have to make sure that I do take the time to listen, and to spread the good news.
The readings also invoke the power of the Lord. Today’s psalm repeats Isaiah’s message that “The Lord our God comes with power.” He comes to “rule the world with justice and the peoples with his constancy.” I can’t wait for Him to deliver us from injustice, from poverty, from all the evils. I yearn for peace and justice, particularly during this time of the year. It is difficult to reconcile the joy of the Lord’s words and the fact that so many people are suffering. As Isaiah’s message and Matthew’s gospel illustrate: God is our shepherd who wants to make sure that we are ALL included. Nobody is to be left out. We are called, during this advent season and throughout the year, to be the shepherds looking for the lost sheep around us. I pray for energy and courage to be inclusive of all people, to make the time to listen to others’ and to God’s word, and to follow His calling.
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