Wednesday, December 14, 2016

With Longing for the Coming of God's Kingdom

I'm continuing to make progress on this little Advent Jesse Tree, which (hopefully) I'll be able to complete on Saturday in time for the Fourth Sunday of Advent.  It has been a fruitful exercise to meditate on the four scenes from the Old Testament in each corner of the image and the center image of the Mother of God and Jesus from the New Testament.

I pray best, I've learned over the years, with a brush or a pencil in hand, and this Advent is no exception.  The selection of these four scenes from the Old Testament are quite traditional and were understood, in the medieval approach to the exegesis of scripture, to be types or pre-figurements of the mystery of the Incarnation.

Which all might seem so far removed from the desperate plight of so many brothers and sisters in our world during these days of Advent. But each of these scenes are of deliverance and salvation: Daniel, in the perilous darkness of the lion's den.  The three holy youths cast into the fiery furnace.  The Lord telling Moses that God has heard the cries of the Hebrews in bondage in Egypt; and the promise of the Lord to Gideon to break the yoke of Midian, who for seven years plundered and ravaged the Israelites after they entered the Promised Land.

It is in that context, of our need for deliverance and our longing for coming of God's kingdom of justice, mercy, righteousness and peace, that we turn our eyes in expectation and hope to the holy Mother of God, Mary and her son, Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us.

With longing for the coming of God's kingdom, may we continue to persevere in interceding in every way for all those crying out in need during these days: for the people of Aleppo, Syria and Iraq; for persecuted Christians and all those who reviled and hated for who they are, what they look like or who they worship; for refugees and migrants in their distress and great need, and for our threatened environment and all of creatures, so wonderously made by the Creator, who inhabit it.

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