1st Week of the Advent
1st Reading: Is 11:1-10
On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a Spirit of counsel and of strength, a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra’s den, and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.
Gospel: Lk 10:21-24
Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
JOINING THE MISSION: Today’s gospel displays the qualities of Jesus as the leader of the mission Kingdom team. Jesus sends out the 70 disciples to do the mission of promoting peace and reconciliation. No name is mentioned because the task of the mission kingdom is more important than who accomplishes it. On their return while they narrate their experience, Jesus becomes joyful as a leader at the achievements of the team. In response he thanks God and encourages the disciples too saying that they are fortunate people. They are childlike and so they have grasped the truth though the learned and intelligent have failed to comprehend it. We can be happy to be counted among the fortunate ones, as we too see Jesus in the Eucharist and hear him in the gospel. This privilege brings with it the responsibility to live the message of Jesus and to announce it.
Prayer: Merciful God, we ask for the grace to live the message and to announce it to others.
ATTEMPTING A COURSE CORRECTION: Isaiah prophesies a dawn of a kingdom, where God’s anointed shall rejoice in the fear of God. God’s spirit shall rest upon Him. The righteous one, shall not judge and condemn, but deal graciously. It is the heart that rules and not the head. Once, three men were carrying a boat on their heads. They were in great excitement, as if in a victory march. They walked along the streets of the town. Townspeople were amused. They asked, what happened? The three said, Oh, it is wonderful. Yesterday was a windy day; the river was overflowing while we crossed it. It was this boat that saved us. But for it, we would have drowned. So we are taking it in a procession. We want to tell the world: This shall be a treasure at our house. The ways of the Lord are strange, He seems to side with the lesser, the marginalized, the forlorn, people who do not matter in the eyes of the powerful. God’s wisdom is revealed to such as those who have no other claims of power or might. We have often lost touch with the pattern God has followed. How sad, we glory in the insignificant, we value the unworthy and are misled by the way the world guides. Time, we made a U turn!