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

December 3, 2019

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO

Tuesday 1st week of Advent
Memorial of St. Francis Xavier
Isaiah11:1-10; Luke 10:21-24

Advent is a time of waiting, a time of hope. The young maiden is with child and can feel the quickening of new life within her. Through this humble handmaid, God is making all things news. The fruit of her virginal womb would work the ground and shepherd the flock of the Lord. While he walked among us as a man, His resting place was close to the heart of the Father. Offspring of a fallen race, this daughter of Eve was immune from all contagion of sin by a unique overshadowing of God’s grace. This sister of all mankind was God’s enclosed garden (CF. Song 4:12) where the lifeless stump of Jesse could put forth a tender shoot. From the private spring of grace that flowed in her heart, the roots found nourishment to put forth a luxurious bud. In the shadow of its branches, the lost sheep would find pleasant pasturage.

The Son of God became the Son of Mary and in His flesh, he poured out his life’s blood to save the human race. Having become Man, the Son of God worked with human hands, he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart, he loved. Sick human nature was attended to by the divine physician. Fallen human nature was given the ministration of a Good Samaritan. Having been held captive by death, mortal man was called back to life by Him who is truly risen from the dead. Those who had lost possession of what is good, beautiful and true found a wise teacher. Those who wander in the valley of darkness need the Light of the World. Those who are in bondage need a savior to set them free. These days of Advent help us to focus on the Father’s great love for us. God made his Only Son a gift for us, he took on our humanity to give his divinity to us. The Eternal Word became a man like us and in this way opened for us the road to his heavenly Kingdom, to full communion with him. Faith has a fundamental aspect that does not only involve our mind and heart but also our whole life. From the stump of our fallen nature Christ caused the shoot of eternal life to spring up and grow.

Loving God, give me the quiet and peace in my heart that helps me to hear and feel your great love for me.  Open my ears to those you place in my life, and help me to believe in the impossible promises of Isaiah and of your great, unimaginable and personal love for me.