Daily Reflection: December 5, 2011

Monday of the second week of Advent

Is 35:1-10

Ps 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14

Lk 5:17-26

The readings for the day can be found here.

As a Christian this season reminds me of the faith and the life-giving hope of Jesus Christ our savior.

Am I listening to my heart, to my mind, and to my soul?  Can I feel the love of Jesus?  Or have I allowed the stress and daily challenges of life to skew my perspective and my priorities?  I can fall into that trap of trying to control so much of the world around me.  Yet, when I hit the pause button, I feel your presence Lord.  I feel your inner peace, I feel your calling me for a higher purpose, and I yearn for more.

Advent fills me with happiness and anticipation over the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  However, lately I have been bombarded by the plight of loved ones and others less fortunate:  my cousin who is dying of throat cancer, my dear friend’s son who was just diagnosed as bipolar with severe depression, another life-long friend’s back surgery, family members who can’t find jobs, and the homeless beggar sitting on the street corner with cup in hand.  How can I be a sign of hope to others when the odds seem so insurmountable?  A compassionate hug, words of comfort, spare change for the cup… maybe they felt Jesus’ all encompassing love when I reached out during their times of need.

The crippled man’s friends had so much faith that Jesus healed him.  Do I have life-changing faith?  Is my faith in Jesus strong enough and big enough to make a difference?  When I let Jesus in I know it is.  Jesus, I ask you to forgive my sins, take control of my life, and give me the strength to stay on the path of salvation.  Grant me wisdom and let me celebrate you in times of plenty.  Allow me to give thanks for the opportunities to grow closer to you and deepen my faith in times of strife.  And supply me with courage to face the Pharisees and do what is just so that they too might see your goodness and light.

I visualize a star in the night sky, a drafty barn, and a bed of hay.  I listen and can hear a new born babe cry in the night.  Each is part of the story of Jesus’ promise of redemption.  As I enter into this holiday season, I ask the Lord to take my burdens, to fill me with the holy spirit, and to let me rejoice in his promise and gift of everlasting love.

Ken Fleischmann is the Vice President for Human Resources.

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