Wednesday, December 14, 2005
THURSDAY 3RD WEEK OF ADVENT
DECEMBER 15, 2005
THURSDAY 3RD WEEK OF ADVENT - YEAR I
Raise a glad cry, you barren one who did not bear, break forth in
jubilant song, you who were not in labor, For more numerous are the
children of the deserted wife than the children of her who has a
husband, says the LORD. Enlarge the space for your tent, spread out
your tent cloths unsparingly; lengthen your ropes and make firm your
stakes. For you shall spread abroad to the right and to the left;
Your descendants shall dispossess the nations and shall people the
desolate cities. Fear not, you shall not be put to shame; you need
not blush, for you shall not be disgraced. The shame of your youth
you shall forget, the reproach of your widowhood no longer remember.
For he who has become your husband is your Maker; his name is the
LORD of hosts; Your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, called God
of all the earth. The LORD calls you back, like a wife forsaken and
grieved in spirit, A wife married in youth and then cast off, says
your God. For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great
tenderness I will take you back. In an outburst of wrath, for a
moment I hid my face from you; But with enduring love I take pity on
you, says the LORD, your redeemer. This is for me like the days of
Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah should never again deluge
the earth; So I have sworn not to be angry with you, or to rebuke
you. Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken,
My love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
When the messengers of John had left, Jesus began to speak to the
crowds about John. "What did you go out to the desert to see--a reed
swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed
in fine garments? Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously
are found in royal palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A
prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one
about whom scripture says: 'Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead
of you, he will prepare your way before you.' I tell you, among
those born of women, no one is greater than John; yet the least in
the kingdom of God is greater than he." (All the people who
listened, including the tax collectors, and who were baptized with
the baptism of John, acknowledged the righteousness of God; but the
Pharisees and scholars of the law, who were not baptized by him,
rejected the plan of God for themselves.)
Today's first reading contains a song composed by Yahweh for the
Chosen People. One of the main themes of this song is the betrothal
of the Chosen People to the Lord God who has taken this people to
himself in a covenant of love. Unfortunately the people have been
unfaithful to Yahweh. Stung by his spouse's infidelity, Yahweh in
anger abandons her, but only for a brief moment. Immediately he
reasserts his love for his spouse: "with great tenderness I will
take you back." Yahweh then pledges an extraordinary, what we call
today, an unconditioned, love for his spouse:
Though the mountains leave their place
and the hills be shaken,
My love shall never leave you
nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
Surely Yahweh, the Father of Jesus, loved John the Baptist with the
same unconditioned love with which he loved his faithless spouse,
Israel. For John had disciplined into his character all those
virtues the nation lacked: John was a man of principle, not a
swaying reed, a man of unswerving fidelity and loyalty to Yahweh.
He put his devotion to his God above all else in his life.
It seems strange therefore, particularly after Jesus had lavished
unstinting praise on John that he should say, "the least born into
the kingdom of God is greater than John."
Yet Jesus' words are true. John, great as he was, was only the
Kingdom's herald. He was not to be a part of, was not to be reborn
into the kingdom. We, though we cannot approach John either in his
single-minded dedication to living out God's will for him, or in his
fearless commitment to preaching the word of God truthfully no
matter what the cost, we, through God's goodness and grace, have
been reborn into the Kingdom. This is our glory. We ought to
strive to live our lives with the same dedication and commitment
with which John lived his.
"Lord, let your light burn brightly in my heart that I may know the
joy and freedom of your kingdom. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and
empower me to witness the truth of your gospel and to point others
to Jesus Christ."
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the personal intentions of Cha.
- for the continued and speedy recovery of Mike Torres.
- for the personal intentions, forgiveness, peace, reconciliation
and harmony of Charles Conrad H.C and Cheryl P.C.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Cristina A. Lopez
- Birthday: Celia Chua Jao
- 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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