Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO
December 16, 2015
3rd Wednesday of Advent
Isaiah 45: 6c-8, 21c-25; Luke 7: 18b-23
The Prophet Isaiah reminds his hearers that God is One and there is no other than He. Nothing comes into existence or stays in existence if He does not will it. The Scriptures tell us that we are earthen vessels, the works of God’s hands. For us to contend with God is as senseless as a lump of clay to contend with the potter working the wheel. It is God Who makes and shapes us for His own purposes. It is God who fills us with heavenly graces, as rain on the meadows, making them fruitful.
We are preparing for the day when Christ will return in glory, bringing with Him an abundance of graces and all spiritual blessings: peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life in the Heavenly Kingdom. From the creation of the world, Christ has been appointed to be the Savior of the Human Race. As we continue to journey through the days of Advent, let us open our hearts to receive the Light and Life of the world Who took flesh in the immaculate womb of the ever-virgin Mary.
Despite the numerous accounts of violence from every corner of the civilized world, God continues to speak a word of peace and reconciliation to His people. But here’s the rub. In order to be reconciled, we have to repent of our sins and return to the embrace of Love that we have avoided. The healing grace of peace and forgiveness is freely offered to all who are willing to turn from their sinful ways. The season of Advent reminds us that God’s salvation is close at hand and that His divine majesty is manifested in the incarnation of His Only-begotten Son. This year of Mercy reminds us that God loves the world so much as to give each and every one of us the opportunity to reclaim the greatness that is ours as children of God.
As disciples of the Word Made Flesh, it is important that we convert and become people of truth and mercy. Laying bare our hearts to the One Who knows and loves us, we are called to become a community of mercy and spiritual healing. The Just Judge will look at humble, broken-hearten, repentant sinner with the eyes of love and bind up the wounds that are presented to Him. Yes, God loves us so much that he even rejoices and takes pleasure in us. He loves us with gratuitous love, love without limits, and without expecting anything in return. In mercy the Lord manifests the glory of His justice. The Son of God become Flesh in the womb of Mary shows God tender kindness to confused followers, to weak sinners and to the sorrowful of heart. He walks with us, he shows us the path of love, lifts us up in our falls, holds us to our labors, and accompanies us in all circumstances of our existence.
The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of mercy and grace. The poor and marginalized are graced to hear the Good News. No sin can cancel his merciful closeness or prevent him from unleashing the grace of conversion. However, we have to cooperate with it. This year of mercy affords us an opportunity to stand humbly before the gaze of divine love and allow God to recreate us in His image and likeness so that we might radiate the glory that shines on the face of Christ. The light that leads us, is it Christ’s or is it someone else’s? People will hear the words that we utter, but they will judge us by our actions. However, only if we are pure of heart will the Good News of salvation bear fruit in our time.