Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

(Isaiah 11:1-10; Luke 10:21-24)

A woman writes of her faith as the glue that holds her life together. She says that when her seven-year-old was hit by a car, she stormed heaven that his life might be spared. God favorably responded, and she remains imminently grateful. Jesus almost sings with similar gratitude in the gospel today.

Seventy-two of his disciples have just returned from a missionary expedition. They witnessed wonders like demons being repulsed in Jesus’ name. Now he praises God for providing such powerful testimony of goodness that they, like the woman who stormed heaven, may trust in Him completely.

During Advent we raise our expectations to see God work wonders. There is the almost universal goodwill of Christmas to look forward, but as short-lived and compromised as the season is, we will likely become disillusioned if we place much hope in it. No, now is the time to think really big as Isaiah envisions in the first reading. We redouble our efforts and prayers for the development of all peoples, for an end to the arms race, and for human rights in the Middle East.