Daily Reflection for Thursday, December 23 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link: CLICK HERE
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24
Responsorial: Psalm 25:4-5ab, 8-10, and 14
Gospel: Luke 1:57-66
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
“Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me” Malachi 3:1
Wouldn’t it just be easier to have a relationship with God if He were actually present? Not in the spiritual sense of the word, but in the physical sense. Where we could have real conversations, embrace and hang out, just as we do with our loved ones and friends. I often find myself thinking that it would just be easier if God would speak to me, out loud, so I would understand what He wants of me and what I should do. Yet I know that, at times, I don’t hear what others are trying to tell me or I don’t want to listen, so why would it be different if it was God? Even if He were standing in front of me in dazzling robes with a long beard, my guess is that given enough time, I would probably tune Him out. The truth is, my own willfulness gets in the way of really hearing God and listening to His guidance for me.
Of course, God speaks to me. He speaks to me when the Gospel is proclaimed. He speaks to me in song. He speaks to me through the voices of my children and my loved ones when they encourage me to be a better man. He speaks to me in that still small voice when I’m praying.
Today’s readings focus on God’s messengers who were also ignored at times. The prophets routinely had to beg, cajole, and threaten people to adhere to the will of God. Zechariah refused to listen to the angel Gabriel when he delivered the message of John’s impending birth. For his refusal he was made mute and possibly even deaf. Only when he accepted God’s message regarding his son, John, who would go on to deliver the message of Jesus’s coming, did he regain his speech. I wonder how often I tune out God’s messengers?
Just as God never stopped trying to get through to His people in the Bible—sending prophet after prophet—He still reaches out to us. Even when we are willful and defiant, He tries again and again. As Advent draws to a close, God is ready to repeat his message of love and forgiveness again. The birth of the Christ child and his willing death for us was the clearest message that God has sent us. He loves us beyond our wildest comprehension and simply wants to be in relationship with us.
May we cherish this most precious of gifts and truly listen to our loving Father.