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

December 29, 2016

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

Tuesday of the 1st Week in Advent
Isaiah 11: 1-10; Luke 10: 21-24

The passage we just heard from the Prophet Isaiah is among the better known texts of the Old Testament. It speaks of hope and newness of life that flows from the loving kindness and tender mercy of God. Remember, God knows disaster and loss. The glory of Israel had been reduced to ruins the Tree of Jesse had been cut down and only a stump remained of that noble house. To passersby, the glory of Israel was just a pile of rubble. To God, it was the seedbed of a new creation. To the passerby, the once mighty tree was a lifeless stump. To God, the stump was guardian of ancient roots that would again put forth a tender shoot. No matter how bad things have become in the world, they are the stuff from which God creates a new beginning.

The hope of the world sprang from rubble and destruction. The hope of the world comes in meekness and humility — a tender shoot sprouting from the lifeless stump. The hope of the world is the firstborn of the new creation. Although the old is passing away, the hope of the world comes to make all things new. The hope of the world took flesh of the Ever-Virgin Mary. He Who created mankind Himself became a man in order to restore mankind to its former glory. He in Whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells Himself came to dwell among us so that we might have a resting place in Him for all eternity. In the Word Made Flesh, our sinful human nature is transformed and in our flesh we are enabled to radiate the grandeur of God the Creator and the Sustainer of our lives.

Looking at the remnant of Israel, God sees the beginnings of a new kingdom. All that has been shattered finds restoration in the hands of God. The stump is all that is left of a magnificent tree. By the grace of God it puts for a fresh shoot, a new growth that will one day shelter the People of God. For a time, the Son of God pitched His tent in our midst so that we might have an eternal dwelling place in heaven. Through Christ, we who were dead in our sins have been brought to the newness of life. How blessed are those who see and acknowledge this gift. May we be awake and watching when He returns in Glory.