Thursday of the First Week of Advent
Memorial Feast: Saint Francis Xavier (1506-+1552) Co-founder of the Society of Jesus
Book of the Prophet Isaiah 26:1-6; Psalm 118:1 and 8-9, 19-21, 25-27a;
Matthew 7:21, 24-27
For many years there has been some type of wall separating the United States and Mexico. The walls are made up of various types of materials. On the U.S. side, little is said. The wall is blank and, well, silent. Heat and motion sensors are used to prevent people from crossing the border without proper documentation. On the Mexican side, the metal surface is slowly being covered with drawings, names, slogans, and murals. It has become a memorial, a place of prayer, prophecy, and protest.
Having said this, the sharp words of the prophet Isaiah warns the lofty city that ignores the poor streaming past its gates. That city will certainly fall. The American author John Steinbeck in his book, The Grapes of Wrath, echoes Isaiah, describing farmers who lost their land during the great depression and took to the highways in search of work. For Steinbeck, a society that pushes the poor into boxcars and shantytowns faces the wrath of judgment.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and other factors are helping to create economic havoc around the world. In many countries, including our own, the old ways of life have been swept away, and a “new normal” has taken its place. Villages, towns, and cities empty as people, old and young, leave in search of employment. Families and friendships have drifted apart. In many cases, the walls I spoke of earlier are “invisible walls” created out of mistrust or indifference.
Jesus calls us to build our lives on His lasting presence. His teachings have taught us to break down any walls or prejudices we may have in our hearts and minds. Most importantly, He has taught us to help those in need and love others as we love ourselves.
Question of the Day: Are you thankful that you have a God who cares enough to intercede so that you can experience a life of abundant blessings and to share that abundance with those in need?
Prayer: “Trust in the Lord forever!” (Is. 26)