December 1, 2016 – Thursday in the 1st Week of Advent

Saint for the day: Blessed Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Isaiah 26:1-6    –    Psalm 118    –    Matthew 7:21, 24-27

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call him while he is near.”

Today’s Advent Liturgy ties us together around the theme of a protected eg. Walled city and a house which is built on solid rock. If we let those images expand in our mind we might come to a deeper understanding of the start of our Advent journey. My favorite Psalm, 27 gives us the image of God drawing us into the depths of his tent (heart?) where he sets us high on a rock free from any danger. We have to remember that one of the first images of God’s presence with His people was in the tent of meeting. When I was in Israel and we camped for a week in the Sinai wilderness I observed the Bedouin tents and asked our guide if he could arrange for me to visit one since they where so large and intriguing. His answer gave me much to think about in regard to the entire concept of “tent” for these nomadic people. He told me that only the intimate family and close relations were ever admitted into the deep recesses of the tent. And I was reminded of Abraham encountering the “three Heavenly visitors” and how they were entertained at the entrance under the awning but not brought into the depths of the tent. That was reserved for the special, select members of the intimate family.

And that’s what we are: the chosen elect of God’s family and he does just that. He draws us in to the inner depths of His being and there he sets us up high on a solid rock where we can be safe.

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells his disciples that they must build their houses on solid rock where they will be safe when the storms most assuredly will come. And later in the Gospels He tells Peter, “You are ROCK and upon [your solidness] I will build My Church and the storms of destruction will not be able to destroy it.

So, we move to “the bottom line:” we have to first meet the Lord God/Jesus at the entrance to our dwelling place and there the tables are turned and it ends up being Jesus who invites us in to His presence and it is He who sets us up on the high rock for safety. When Jesus says, “build your house on solid rock” He really means “allow ME to build a house for you” which is quite different from us doing something wonderful for God. I think the reason that many of us don’t experience the close presence of God in our lives is because we have never let go to let God build His House for us. So, during this first week of Advent we are reminded that God will come to us but we have to allow God to be God. Remember, it’s not: “God made in OUR image” but WE who are made in God’s Image and it is HE who draws us in the depths of His loving presence. Amen!

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