Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent

(Isaiah 40:1-11; Matthew 18:12-14)

Secularists sometimes have a conception of God; they are not all strict atheists.  They may theorize that God is a supreme force which set in motion the universe.  What they cannot fathom is a God who cares about humans.  “Why,” they might ask, “should the Creator love rational beings who often rather viciously disturb the order of being?”  The readings of today’s mass do not provide an explanation, but they do testify to God’s care for people.

Isaiah speaks of God’s concern for exiled Jews exiled in Babylon. He announces that their punishment for disobedience has ended, that the Lord has heard their pleas for mercy.  In fact, the prophet says God is preparing a highway through the desert for them to return to Jerusalem.  The gospel gives a tender image of God’s loving concern.  As a shepherd might carry a sheep that has gone astray back to the flock, God pardons the sinner and returns him to the community.

We believe that God not only loves us, but also becomes one of us and then dies on our behalf.  It’s like someone donating not only a kidney but also a lung and part of her heart that we might not die.  What are we to do but thank that person continuously after we rejoice profusely for a new lease on life.