Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent

Isaiah 40:1-11; Mt. 18:12-14

We live in a therapeutic age. I have known many people who seem to spend most of their free time (and perhaps much of their “paid time”!) trying to figure out what is wrong with them. Parents, grandparents, ancestors, genes; mercury fillings; Catholic grammar school, planetary alignments– there is an ever lengthening list of culprits responsible for the fact that we do not live up to the image of an ideal human being presented by Hollywood and the “ad game.” If only….

And then there is the popular image of God. A “figure” caricatured in our cartoons and films, some mix of Zeus, Wotan and Barney – perhaps purified with lightning and thunder on a mountaintop – laughable, only very vaguely discomforting. And yet our discomfort is very real. Something is wrong, and it is wrong with us. Try as we may, we cannot get ourselves – or our “loved ones” – right.

And then the real, the living God comes and touches us. He shows us that that which we were so bothered about isn’t really “the problem” at all, and in any event, it doesn’t really matter. Because what matters is that He loves us beyond all telling, and comes to comfort and love us precisely in our sins and faults, leading us to a vista we could never have imagined. If we say “yes” to Him, then the grace will – miraculously – appear to help us begin dealing with these seemingly insuperable obstacles. The one lost sheep – the one thing we couldn’t deal with – becomes the object of His greatest love and attention. “With God all things are possible:” only God can bring good out of evil, and He does. This is true comfort, northern and southern!

December 10th, 2013