MEMORIAL OF ST. AMBROSE, BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

December 7, 2018

Isaiah 29:17-24

 

Shall not Lebanon in a very little while

    become a fruitful field,

    and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest?

 On that day the deaf shall hear

    the words of a scroll,

and out of their gloom and darkness

    the eyes of the blind shall see.

 The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,

    and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.

 For the tyrant shall be no more,

    and the scoffer shall cease to be;

    all those alert to do evil shall be cut off—

 those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit,

    who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate,

    and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.

 

Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:

 

No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,

    no longer shall his face grow pale.

 For when he sees his children,

    the work of my hands, in his midst,

    they will sanctify my name;

they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,

    and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.

And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,

    and those who grumble will accept instruction.

 

 

Psalm 27: 1, 4, 13-14

 

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

    whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life;

    of whom shall I be afraid?

One thing I asked of the Lord,

    that will I seek after:

to live in the house of the Lord

    all the days of my life,

to behold the beauty of the Lord,

    and to inquire in his temple.

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord

    in the land of the living.

 Wait for the Lord;

    be strong, and let your heart take courage;

    wait for the Lord!

 

 

Matthew 9:27-31

 

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, “See that no one knows of this.” But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district.

(NRSVCE)

 

 

Meditation

 

Today’s scriptures promise us beautiful things. The reading from Isaiah describes a land being like an orchard, the deaf hearing, shame being removed, and those at fault being instructed. The psalm speaks of faith of having full intimacy with God as being in His dwelling place, and the gospel tells the miraculous story of two men’s sight being restored to them.  But nestled neatly in the middle of all these beautiful hopes and promises, is the word, “wait”. “Wait for the Lord with courage, be stouthearted, wait for the Lord.” The truth is that these wonderful works of the Lord are only known because of the difficulty surrounding them. By saying that a land will be a orchard, means it is yet a desert. Some are still experiencing shame. Those in need of instruction have not been corrected. We don’t know full closeness with God, and our prayers to see, or maybe to understand, have not yet been answered. In this time of Advent, we hear of the bounty of the Lord and the provision and blessing of His works, but we are still waiting for Him.

 

But waiting for God, is inherently tied to hoping in Him. We would never wait at a train station for a train that isn’t coming, so we don’t wait for the Lord apart from believing that He is coming and completing His promises. To wait, or hope, for the Lord then, is two pronged and almost paradoxical. We need to identify our need, and fully trust it will be met. The hope we obtain through this trust is the down payment of God completing His word. To have hope, and to wait, is to believe that the Lord is present and is active in bringing us into His dwelling. His dwelling is the place of total healing, relief from shame, correction of wrongs, and abundance. 

 

So today, present your need before the Lord, and wait for Him with courage. Do not be afraid to be honest about your pain, and do not be afraid to hope. The Lord delights to save and heal His people. He sees you, He loves you, and He only needs you to hope in Him. 

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