Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent
Memorial Feast: Saint Ambrose (c.340-+397)—Patron Saint of Beekeepers, Bishops, Police Officer
Isaiah 40:1-11, Psalm 96:1-3, 10-13, & Matthew 18:12-14
Have you ever shopped on Black Friday? I managed to endure it once. The mall crowds were the worst I had ever seen. It was holiday shopping in Hades. I was standing in endless lines with frenzied bargain hunters who complained about how crowded the mall was while I wondered if those shoppers only decided to shop on Black Friday once, too.
I mention this because the shopping experience contrasts strongly with today's powerful passages from Isaiah and Matthew. Both readings remind us that Advent season is not dedicated to launching the equivalent of the Normandy invasion on the nation's malls but to preparing the coming of a God who saves us.
Advent is my favorite season on the Church's calendar. It does not ban us from participating in traditional celebrations but instead reminds us that preparing for Christmas requires thoughtfulness and prayer. I find it a refreshing antidote to everything else we experience during December.
I suspect that most of us can endure the many renditions of 'Silent Night,' with all the interruptions reminding us that there is a 'BOGO' sale in aisle six. We need to escape to readings like we have today, which speaks to the eternal quest of the people of God and His desire to save ALL HIS PEOPLE! Today's image of the lost sheep, in Matthew's Gospel narrative, is beneficial during this blessed season. If God is looking for people to rescue, He will find them glassy-eyed in just about any shopping mall worldwide.
Question of the Day: Advent is the season of waiting. What are you waiting for, and how will you prioritize it?
Prayer: "The day of the Lord is near: Behold, He comes to save us. Alleluia, alleluia."