Advent Reflections for December 21
Week 3 - Friday
The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty Savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in His love, He will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals. (Zephaniah 3:17)
The reading from Zephaniah expresses in poetic language the boundless love God has for each of us. In some translations the words say "God will exult over you!" It is surely God's desire that someday we will all be with Him in heaven. No matter what happened before, God is ready each moment to show us this love. The words of Zephaniah and our celebration of Christmas should bring us to a deeper awareness of how profound is God's love for us.
Send a get-well card to someone in the hospital.
Nature is in childbirth
by Archbishop Fulton Sheen
In this late day of creation we are troubled by pollution, and nature seems to turn against us. Will nature ever be completely liberated? Yes. Scripture tells us it is waiting for the liberation of the sons of God. When the number of the elect is completed, then there will be a new heaven and a new earth. St. Paul has a beautiful description of that in the eighth chapter of Romans. "For the created universe waits with eager expectation for God's Son to be revealed. It was made the victim of frustration, not by its own choice."
Nature did not become rebellious because it willed it, but because of him who made it so-because of us. And always there was hope, because the universe itself is to be freed from the shackles of mortality and enter upon the liberty and splendor of the children of God. "Up to the present, we know, the whole created universe groans in all of its parts, as if in the pangs of childbirth." just think of it. We hardly think of nature that way. No poet has ever sung about nature being like a woman in childbirth. And yet here it is. We can hardly wait. Each sunrise, each sunset: nature is expectant. When will men serve God and the number of the elect be complete?
Source: Through the Year With Archbishop Fulton Sheen. IgnatiusInsight.com
Gospel: Mary's visit to Elizabeth (Luke)
O come, O Dayspring from on high And cheer us by your drawing nigh; Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death's dark shadow put to flight.
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