Malvern Minute – Tuesday
Malvern Minute

 

December 6, 2016 – Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent

Saint Nicholas

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

 

A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (40:1-8)

Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
The rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.

Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

A voice says, “Cry out!”
I answer, “What shall I cry out?”
“All flesh is grass,
and all their glory like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower wilts,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it.
So then, the people is the grass.
Though the grass withers and the flower wilts,
the word of our God stands forever.”

 

Reflect: Part of the challenge of Advent is to address the question: How much do we need God?  If all is good and we are content with life and what we have accomplished for ourselves to this point, then we might not need the comfort of God that the Prophet Isaiah announces, nor do we need for the Shepherd to leave behind the 99 sheep and go in search for us alone if we are lost (see today’s Gospel: Matthew 18:12-14).  Isaiah also reminds us that we are like grass that withers and is blown away – that’s if we are left to our own devices.  Maybe there’s a lot more to this life than just what we can gain and accomplish for ourselves. If we have even an inkling of faith, the powerful Word of God that we hear in Advent wants to help wake up our hearts so that we can be expectant for the awesome presence of God who wants to make all the difference in the world for us.

What sense does it make for a shepherd to go after one measly lost sheep when he still has 99 more to look after? Why would Jesus tell that story? Even if I have “it all together”, what in my life needs comfort? Is there something down deep that only God can heal, touch, forgive or make right – maybe something that I don’t want anyone else to know about?

 

Pray: Loving God, you want to save me. Help me to appreciate all that you are doing and want to do in my life and help me to look forward to the glorious Nativity of Christ. I ask this in the powerful, perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Saint Nicholas: Pray for us!

 

WE BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK (2 Corinthians 4:13)

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