Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, with the mountains quaking before you, while you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for, such as they had not heard of from of old. - Isaiah 63:19b

At sundown today, the new ecclesiastical year began with the Vigil Mass of the First Sunday of Advent, and this verse taken from the prophet Isaiah, our first reading from the scriptures, caught my eye. In the Old Testament, Israel comes to believe in the Lord through signs and wonders: the parting of the Red Sea, the flow of a spring of water from a stone in the desert, the manna from heaven to feed them, etc. Isaiah speaks to an Israel whose hearts have hardened to the point that they do not fear the Lord. They have ceased to call upon Yahweh, their God, and instead have wandered on their own path away from God. Isaiah once again prays for God to deliver Israel and bring them back, to rip open the fabric of the skies and reveal himself through awesome deeds as of old. So are we in our current time no different from the ancient tribes of Israel. Many have strayed from the way of the Lord and have hardened their hearts seeking to follow their own ways, in other words setting themselves up as their own God. On the other hand, many others seek God in miraculous and wonderful apparitions in far away places. They are looking for God to "rip open the heavens" and come sliding down a sun beam and bring his reign to fruition on the earth. However, is this how God wants us to prepare for his coming, by being spiritually asleep or by being preoccupied with miraculous signs and wonders which herald the arrival of the Lord?

As Isaiah prophetically called Israel to be mindful of the coming of the Lord, so Jesus reminds us in today's gospel reading to "be watchful! Be alert!" We should prepare for the coming of Christ by being mindful of our call to holiness through service to one another. We should look for the coming of the Lord in the quiet moments of everyday life where we carry out our duty to serve the Lord as we ought, so that when he comes again, he will find us being good stewards bringing forth the kingdom to those around us. We should prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord in the Eucharistic Banquet by calling to mind our sin and our need for forgiveness through frequent examination of our consciences and reception of the healing which is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We should prepare for the coming of the Lord by taking time to slow down and take a few minutes out of our busy routines several times a day to reflect and order our lives to the good of the Savior. If we do this, when he does return, the Lord will find us tending the vineyard as he commanded, and we will be able to rejoice with him in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Come, Lord Jesus, and do not delay!


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