- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

December 15, 2017

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

2nd Friday of Advent
Isaiah 48:17-19; Matthew 11:16-19

The prophet Isaiah wrote: “I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good” (Is. 48:17).  Listening, discerning, and living are at the very heart of our faith-life. God sends His Spirit to enlighten our minds and re-create our hearts. By the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, the Eternal Word took flesh of the virginal womb of the Maiden of Nazareth in order to proclaim the Good News of Salvation to the people who dwelt in darkness. The Master of the Universe became a human being so that He might accompany all people who were making their pilgrim way to the Father (CF. Jn. 14:6). By His grace, Jesus leads those who respond to His call and by His providence guides them on the path of the commandments until their hearts are enlarged with the inexpressible joy of love. Spiritual joy and peace are interwoven with holiness of life.

God promises to teach us what is for our good. His commandments are words of life. The Incarnate Word is the Savior of the human race. The Son of Mary is our portion and our cup, in Him we are given food for the journey home. The Beloved Son of God became the Father’s great gift to us so that we who receive it may become gifts of love for others. In Christ, we are given the joy of opening the gift that answers the deepest longing of our hearts. In becoming gifts, we allow others the joy of receiving love and living an abundant life.

The mystery of the Incarnation shows us God’s desire to encounter us all along our journey. It is extremely important that we recognize our time of visitation from the Lord (CF. Lk. 19:44). God has put us in the time and place He knew best for us. Our life and our presence in the world are instruments whereby God extends His love and compassion to the whole world. By the outpouring of the Holy Spirit God effects a change whereby we are transformed into the children of the kingdom. Our aged and stone-cold hearts will become hearts of flesh, capable of loving and of feeling like children. Unlike the scribes and Pharisees in today’s gospel, “we will be able to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). Our duty towards one another is summed up on one word, “love”.

The indwelling of divine love enables us to take delight in another’s joy, and to feel compassion for another’s sorrow. God accompanies us as we journey through life. He knows the longing of our hearts and calls each of us by name. Having heard our name, may we become agents of hope and consolation to all we meet. My brothers and sisters, when you feel the movement of the music, DANCE. When you hear the sound of the chorus, SING. When the Lord returns in glory, may He bring us all together into everlasting life.