The readings of today beautifully remind us that we are part of a much bigger story than we often think. We are invited to be "other-centered" with all our God-given talents and wealth, then we will join 'the humble of the land who do God's commands' (First reading). When we are humble in life, there is nothing to be afraid of. Fear steps in when our souls are arrogant, justifying our fear of everything and everyone.
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Life is replete with ups and downs, joy and sorrow, happiness and sadness but the scripture exhorts us constantly look up to Him who brings our work and efforts to fruition. God is always revealing a new stage of growth in our lives through circumstances that perhaps we never bargained for. Initially, the shedding of God's light could be disconcerting and very painful but if we hold on to the course, life takes on a new meaning and purpose. If we allow Jesus light up our way, our "weeping may last for the night but a shout of joy come in the morning". Ps. 30:5.
“The time of Advent that we begin again today returns us to the horizon of hope, a hope that does not disappoint because it is founded on the Word of God. A hope that does not disappoint, simply because the Lord never disappoints! He is faithful!”
The time of Advent that the Church celebrates in preparation for Christmas, is “a new journey of the People of God with Jesus Christ, our Shepherd, who guides us in history towards the completion of the Kingdom of God.”
The modern culture vehemently encourages the modern man to avoid thinking about the last important four things (death, judgment, heaven, hell) and the great truths of life. But the instinct to see beyond the veil of death and time haunts us now more than ever. In the moments of Jesus' concentrated agony on the cross he prayed "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." The liturgy today focuses on what the end will look like. The world will come to an end someday. The Catholic catechism reminds us that "at the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love".
If anyone of us is of the opinion that a Saint is someone who spends the whole time praying or is out of touch with the modern way of doing things, the devil has successfully captured out thoughts believe it or not. Saints are not born! They become saints here on earth. Our mission on earth as human beings is to live a holy life and become saints when we die (... in fear and trembling you shall work out your salvation) Cf. Philippians 2:12. There is a lot of misery in this world that will inevitably come our way when we strive to live Christian life.