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Thursday of the First Week of Advent
Isaiah 26:1-6
Psalm 118:1 and 8-9, 19-21, 25-27A
Matthew 7:21, 24-27
All of our readings today speak of building with care. The first reading is building cities
with walls and ramparts for protection. Our psalmist invites us to bless the one who
comes in the name of the Lord. The psalmist continues with the metaphorical approach
of the structure of protection is not walls, and ramparts but justice and blessings. The
Gospel teaches us that the kingdom of heaven is like a home build on rock. Homes not
built on a stable base, can fall to rain, flood and wind.
This time last year I remember a terrible windstorm that swept the Pasadena area. I re-
member leaving the church and a gentle breeze hit my face. Later that night the wind
struck our home causing it to shiver. I remember putting additional blankets on every-
one's bed knowing electricity would soon fade. As the wind stirred and blew with such
ferocity tree limbs fell, roofs were lifted and everyone sought safe shelter. As each blast
hit our home I knew for sure the next one would take it down. I wandered through our
home checking to make sure everyone was fine into the wee hours of the night and early
morning. As daylight illuminated our world, tree limbs and leaves littered the city. As we
took our dog on her morning walk we looked upon the results of the wind with amaze-
ment. As we walked our thoughts turned to the big tree next to the church. We won-
dered how it faired.
When arriving at Holy Family we found the tree standing erect and proud. As we all com-
pared notes about the wind storm, Karl Holtsnider shared how lucky it was that Patricia
Plescia, our plant manager, had recently seen to the careful pruning of our landmark
tree. He continued, if not that tree might have faced the same plight as many trees in
the neighborhood.
The Gospel today, speaks of a house built on stable rock will endure. As I read it I was
thinking about the house build strong juxtaposed with
the tree that is appropriately trimmed is not only
beautiful but also stands firm.
Our first reading suggested that the cities be built
with all sorts of protections. Perhaps as a child we
need also needed more protection. Babies and chil-