SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10
Second Sunday of Advent
The Presence of God
“Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Here I am, Lord. I come to seek your presence. I long for your healing power.
“In these days, God taught me as a schoolteacher teaches a pupil” (Saint Ignatius).
I remind myself that there are things God has to teach me yet, and I ask for the grace to hear those things and let them change me.
Help me, Lord, to be more conscious of your presence. Teach me to recognize your presence in others. Fill my heart with gratitude for the times your love has been shown to me through the care of others.
God speaks to each of us individually. I listen attentively, to hear what he is saying to me. Read the text a few times; then listen.
As it is written by the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.’”
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
- Imagine yourself witnessing this scene, perhaps standing in the shallows with the water flowing around your ankles. Allow the scene to unfold. What is it like? The young man from Nazareth joins those waiting for John’s baptism: a symbol of purification but also of birth—coming up out of the waters of the womb into a new life as God’s beloved child.
- Lord, when I realize that you love me, it is like the start of a new life. As I hear your voice, I know that I have a purpose and a destiny.
Conversation requires talking and listening. As I talk to Jesus, may I also learn to be still and listen. I picture the gentleness in his eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me. I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell him of my worries and my cares. I will open my heart to him as I tell him of my fears and my doubts. I will ask him to help me place myself fully in his care and to abandon myself to him, knowing that he always wants what is best for me.
I thank God for these moments we have spent together and for any insights I have been given concerning the text.