Monday, December 05, 2005



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Dec 5, 2005

DECEMBER 6, 2005

ISAIAH 40:1-11
Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins. A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; The rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. A voice says, "Cry out!" I answer, "What shall I cry out?" "All flesh is grass, and all their glory like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower wilts, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it. So then, the people is the grass. Though the grass withers and the flower wilts, the word of our God stands forever." Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord God, who rules by his strong arm; Here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, Carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.

MATTHEW 18:12-14
Jesus said to his disciples: "What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost."

There are perhaps two messages from today's Gospel parable. The first, God loves the stray, the sinner, and the marginalized of our society. They deserve the same attention as others, to the extent that Jesus would risk the security of the remaining ninety-nine sheep in order to bring the back the lost one. No one is expendable in God's eyes.

The second message, God loves each of the remaining ninety-nine sheep just as much as the one stray sheep. This message perhaps is more difficult to understand and accept because the remaining sheep were left to fend for themselves in an insecure environment while he looked for the lost sheep. Some of us may ask: where is the equal love in that?

But perhaps the focus of the second message is: that love is not just about attention it is also about trust. Jesus trusted the remaining sheep to stay together and keep the faith. We know from experience, that perhaps the best way to feel love is not only to feel that we were recognized but also that we were trusted.

Advent is not about waiting for Jesus' coming to receive his love and attention. It is also realizing that Jesus has trusted us to keep the faith, spread the Word, and help our neighbor. When we have fully accept his trust then perhaps we can say that we are truly prepared for Jesus' coming into our hearts.

"Lord, let your light dispel the darkness that what is lost may be found and restored. Let your light shine through me that others may see your truth and love and find hope and peace in you."

We pray -
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the eternal repose of Msgr. James V. Keating
- for the eternal repose of the souls of Dominga Marasigan and Leovigildo Cadorna, Jr.. Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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