December 17, 2018
by Barbara Dilly
Creighton University's Department of Sociology and Anthropology
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Third Week in Advent
Lectionary: 193

Genesis 49:2, 8-10
Pslams 72:1-2, 3-4ab, 7-8, 17
Matthew 1:1-17

Today's Advent Prayer

Praying Advent Home Page

The Two Parts of Advent

Dinner Prayers
for the Second Part of Advent

There is one verse today that offers the most insight to me and that is Psalm 72: 17.

“O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love: come to teach us the path of knowledge.” 

If we reflect on each phrase of this passage, we can be almost over-whelmed with what Advent can be for our lives.

“O Wisdom of our God Most High” 
I am currently in an Ignatian Spirituality graduate level class here at Creighton and have been spending the last six weeks focused on how to discern the nature of God’s Wisdom and its relevance for our lives. 

What I heard so powerfully in this reading is “it is more helpful to speak of God’s hopes and desires for us rather than of God’s will, which can appear to be harsh and restricting instead of liberating.”  Finding the Wisdom of God “lies in our capacity to respond to God’s invitation … to cooperate with God in creating a world that enables us, individually and collectively to become now and in the future the people that God desires us to be” (65).

“Guiding creation with power and love”
The same article points out that God’s hopes and desires for us are to be truly human.  That is what God in love hopes we will become.  That is why he sent us his son, as truly human, to show us what we can be as human beings. 

“Come to teach us the path of knowledge”
We are learning in the class how to engage in discernment.  It is not just a “pragmatically effective way of making choices.  It is rather a framework which enables us to join in partnership with God in making choices which will help to bring about the fulfillment of God’s generous hopes and desires for the world and for us” (65). 

To me then, and I pray, for all of us, Advent can be a time to not only prepare for the coming of Jesus as a fully human being into our lives, but a time for us to prepare to be fully human also.  It is a time for us to prepare to join in partnership with God through Jesus to bring about the peace, love, joy and justice to the world that God sends through Jesus.  That IS almost over-whelming.  But if we let the power and love of God into our hearts, it is the gift that God generously and lovingly gives to us.  It is our prayer during Advent that we will have the capacity to receive it.

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