Monday, December 19, 2016

O RADIX JESSE (O Root of Jesse)

who standest for an ensign of the people, 
before whom kings shall shut their mouths, 
to whom the nations shall seek:
Come and deliver us and tarry not.

Listen HERE

Judges 13:2-7, 24-25; Luke 1:5-25

God loves us as a people, but he also knows us by name. He cherishes us. he loves us. Sometimes he leads us into the desert so as to speak to our hearts. By the power of his Spirit, he transforms us if we are open to being drawn more deeply into his love, and fulfilling the purpose for our lives. In today’s Gospel, we see old Zechariah - possibly trudging along, a bit world weary. The text says that he and Elizabeth were "righteous before God" and obeyed the commandments. But they were childless. Reading between the lines, it seems that Zechariah is bit set in his ways, and not really prepared in his heart to receive God’s message, which is why he needs such angelic encouragement! (How often are we just trudging along spiritually, perhaps dwelling on the disappointments of our lives, and not open to God for him to do some new thing in us, through us, or for us!). 

It has been said that God gave Zechariah two gifts: the gift of a son, and the gift of silence. This period of silence must have been difficult for Zechariah, but it was what he needed in order to get ready for what God was going to do, and to receive God’s love more fully. 

We are fast approaching Christmas. Whether we have had a good Advent or a difficult one, we can still still make some time for silence this week. There is still time for God to make us us into people who will receive Jesus with joyful expectancy this Christmas.

O God, who through the child-bearing of the holy Virgin
didst reveal unto the world
the radiance of thy glory;
grant, we beseech thee,
the grace to cherish with sound faith
and always to celebrate with due reverence
the mystery of so wondrous an Incarnation.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end. Amen.


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