Well, here we are! The end is in sight! Finals week is upon us, which also means that Christmas break is approaching.
In this morning’s first reading from the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, verse 1-10 we hear the following words, so richly steeped in symbolism and prophecy:
“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.”
Christ indeed is coming! In the Gospel this morning from Matthew 3:1-12 we hear John the Baptist cry out: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” That kingdom which John references is truly on hand. Christ was living at the time. John foretold that Christ was present and was coming to bring all to his father.
Now, as we draw nearer to that birth in the stable on Christmas morn, we too rejoice, repent, and make straight the way of the Lord. We call to mind our sins and visit the sacrament of confession, asking God for his forgiveness, so that our souls may be made right in his sight. We set our houses straight. Purifying ourselves of sin, forgiving our neighbors, caring for those who have little to none, and bringing the message of peace to all. John says again at the end of the Gospel:
“His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clear his threshing floor
and gather his wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
May Christ find us ready at his coming! Let us be that wheat that he will gather into his barn, and not the chaff to be burnt. Christ is coming are you ready? Go to confession! Forgive your neighbor! Pray often, laugh much, and give glory to God! The Advent of the Lord is upon us, how will we receive him?
O COME, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that morns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear!
Have a blessed rest of the Advent Season. Please pray for all of us, who have finals this week. We will pray for you!
Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Pray for us!