The Time of the Tomb

THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for December 6th, 2013

Liturgical texts here


Artist Unknown

 

WHEN the Angel Gabriel comes to Mary to announce that she will conceive and bear a son to whom “the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,” [1]Luke 1:32 she responds to his annunciation with the words, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” [2]Luke 1:38 A heavenly counterpart to these words is later verbalized when Jesus is approached by two blind men in today’s Gospel:

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1. Luke 1:32
2. Luke 1:38

The Father Sees

 

 

SOMETIMES God takes too long. He doesn’t respond as quickly as we would like, or seemingly, not at all. Our first instincts are often to believe that He isn’t listening, or doesn’t care, or is punishing me (and therefore, I am on my own).

But He might say something like this in return:

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Just Today

 

 

GOD wants to slow us down. More than that, He wants us to rest, even in chaos. Jesus never rushed to His Passion. He took the time to have a last meal, a last teaching, an intimate moment of washing another’s feet. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He set aside time to pray, to gather His strength, to seek the will of the Father. So as the Church approaches her own Passion, we too should imitate our Savior and become a people of rest. In fact, only in this way can we possibly offer ourselves as true instruments of “salt and light.”

What does it mean to “rest”?

When you die, all worrying, all restlessness, all passions cease, and the soul is suspended in a state of stillness… a state of rest. Meditate on this, for that should be our state in this life, since Jesus calls us to a state of “dying” while we live:

Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it…. I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. (Matt 16:24-25; John 12:24)

Of course, in this life, we cannot help but wrestle with our passions and struggle with our weaknesses. The key, then, is not to let yourself be caught up in the rushing currents and impulses of the flesh, in the tossing waves of the passions. Rather, dive deep into the soul where the Waters of the Spirit are still.

We do this by living in a state of trust.

 

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