Friday of the First Week in Advent

Lectionary: 179

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?


Natural religion is genetically conservative; it remembers the days of yore when people were virtuous, when good was rewarded and wickedness was punished, and life was predictable. That there never was such a time does not worry the religious person. The illusion is precious, not the truth. 

However, Christianity, like its Jewish ancestors, remembers the past more clearly, that we have sinned, suffered betrayal and persecution. It teaches us that our salvation lies in the future, not the past. 

In today's first reading, the Prophet Isaiah promises,
"But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be regarded as a forest!" 
Hearing God's promises of future blessings shakes us out of reverie for the past. It reminds us to pay attention to this moment and the gift that is staring us in the face. 

I have to notice the "present tense" of Psalm 27, today's responsorial: 
The Lord is my light and my salvation.... The Lord is my life's refuge... Whom should I fear? Of whom should I be afraid? 
Fearful things have happened recently, with the election to the office of president of an entertainer/businessman who campaigned as a demagogue . Whether you voted for him or against him or preferred to sit out the election, you have to admit you don't know what he and his colleagues will do from the most powerful post on Earth. Can a single national election put a broken government back on track, and at what cost? My mind teems with ominous images of sudden, traumatic changes to our customs and laws.
I find myself praying more fervently recently; and staying in the present moment:
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?


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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.