Thursday of the third week of Advent
The readings for the day can be found here.
“Believe!” We see that word at Christmastime. It is prominently displayed at Macy’s during the holiday season. It was the message of “Polar Express” that you will have everything you need if you just believe! But the secular message doesn’t compare to when we believe in God. Can we believe in taking Him at his word?
God certainly has a sense of the ridiculous, doesn’t He? The first reading causes us to feel a range of emotions. Who could not be sad for an infertile couple? A barren woman has no descendant family. A barren woman cannot care for children, the role of every ancient Israelite woman in the family. And without her children she is never complete. She is grieved. And incredibly, God says that her descendants will be numerous! How wonderful! And to prepare for that by enlarging her tents. Can she (Jerusalem) believe? Would I believe such a promise?
I do not think we are so different from the Jews of Jesus’ time. I wonder if John the Baptist must have looked ridiculous to the Pharisees and to the Herod household. They wore fine garments and John is described as wearing animal skins. And yet, he believed and made the choice to follow God! But they didn’t believe. So in what ways do we not believe God’s promises in our lives? For me, the most difficult challenge is to let God be God, to let go of control of the details, to let the course of events play out according to His plan, or if I really believe he might he ask me to do something I don’t have the courage to do or don’t want to do! What then allows me to Believe?
Jesus has gone before and has prepared the way for me! I can believe without fear when I follow the light of Christ.