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

December 23, 2016

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

4th Friday of Advent
Malachi 3: 1-4, 23-24; Luke 1: 57-66

“O Emmanuel, you are our king and judge, the One whom the peoples await and their Savior. O come and save us, Lord, our God.” Daily headlines report the tumult and chaos all around us. Out of fear, we tend to strike out violently even before we have all the facts. Thanks to instant communication, events are reported before people can verify that they actually happened. We prefer to think the worst. Undoubtedly, we need someone to make us sane again. Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary and the Beloved Son of God is the One Whose coming we await.

The Advent season reminds us that God so loved the world that He did not leave it to its own destructive designs. He promised that He would be the Light for the People dwelling in darkness and chaos. If only the people who are trapped in darkness and gloom would look to the East, they would see the dawning of a New Day. God has already looked at them and has been moved with compassion for them because they are so confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Cf. Matt. 9: 36).

The peace we long for cannot be bought neither can it be gift-wrapped. The peace we most long for is not a thing to be horded. The peace we desire is a relationship reestablished by Christ and confirmed by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Advent calls us to focus on the fact that Jesus, the Son of Mary and the Only-begotten of the Father is the anchor of our soul. If we truly follow the longing of our heart, God who is faithful will come to our aid and raise us up. It is God’s goodness, and not ours; it is God’s mercy, and not our merit that is the basis for our joy.

Responding to the longing of our heart, we cry out: “Come Lord Jesus, Come and save us!” We join our voices to that of the Psalmist: “O Shepherd of Israel, listen to our cry!” (Ps. 80:1) There is no salvation without God’s saving grace. Only when we acknowledge our total dependence on God, can we hope to find peace. Trusting God to stretch out His steady and guiding hand, let us make the plea of the Spirit and the Bride our own: “Come, Lord Jesus” (CF. Rev. 22: 17, 20).