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Thursday of the Second Week of Advent
Isaiah 41:13-20
Psalms 145:1, 9, 10-11, 12-13
Matthew 11:11-15
Isaiah prophesies to the Jewish community living in Babylon. With the Babylon
Captivity, the temple was destroyed, the leaders of the people taken away to
Babylon and a remnant was left behind. Their homeland was devastated, and a
life-threatening desert separated the people. After forty years in exile, the Per-
sian emperor permitted the Jews to return to their homeland. The people could
hardly believe the good news, but they were weak and weary in body and mind
from their captivity. They hoped that the Lord would renew their strength. He of-
fered support. ˈI am the Lord, your God, who grasp your right hand; it is I who
say to you, ˈfear not, I will help you.ˉ These words give strength and hope in our
lives which are full of challenges, because God is there to help.
In Matthew, Jesus does not make everything perfectly clear. Instead, he chal-
lenges people by not giving all the details but allows people to figure it out for
Advent is about beginnings. Advent is also about longing ˀ man˅s longing, but
also the Lord˅s longing for his beloved. We are all called into the kingdom. The
Lord calls to each one of us to be in a relationship with him. The Lord cannot be
more clear about his desire to connect with us and to help us. ˈI will helpˎˉ, ˈI
will makeˎˉ, ˈI will answerˎˉ, I will open upˎˉ The question then, is how we will
respond to his offer. God really wants us to ask for help, because we can˅t do
all of life alone.
So, how do we find intimacy with God in the
midst of our daily lives? Advent is a wonderful
time to ask, ˈWhat am I looking for?ˉ ˈIs there a
distance between who I say I am and who I ac-
tually am?ˉ ˈIs there a difference between my
beliefs and how I live those beliefs?ˉ ˈDo I feel