December 6, 2012
Dean of Business and Information Management
Psalm 118:1 and 8-9, 19-21, 25-27a
Matthew 7:21, 24-27
The first week of Advent is usually filled with holiday reminders with Christmas songs playing on the radio, stores getting ready for the shopping frenzy and plans underway for out of town visitors. The first reading today is uplifting and joyous following suit for the upcoming holiday season, but it also reminds us that Advent is the time of preparing us for our salvation. Our salvation is allied with living in peace, trusting in the Lord and humbling ourselves by walking in the footsteps of the poor. St. Francis and Clare of Assisi humbled themselves working with the poor and the lepers, trusting in the Lord that each day would bring them closer to salvation. Following their example will lead us to our salvation. The Responsorial Psalm encourages us to give thanks to the Lord for “He is good and merciful” and will gather us into the kingdom if we are open to His Message.
What does one need to do to enter the kingdom of heaven? The message in today’s Gospel tells us that prayer alone does not take us to the gateway; only following the will of the Father will provide the way. I wrestle with trying to decipher God’s will; even though as today’s Gospel explains, we need to listen to His words and act on them for if we do not our house will collapse into ruins. I pray, asking the Father to show me the way, but I get confused with what He may be telling me and what I, in my stubbornness, want to do. To resolve this dilemma, I always seek the presence of Jesus in my life. To me knowing the Father is to first know Jesus for Jesus is one with the Father. In my quest to know Jesus, I read daily from Quiet Places with Mary, for how better to know Jesus than through His Mother. Gathering insights into the humanity of Jesus through the eyes of Mary has given me the means to allow me to walk with Jesus and in doing so understand the Father. Many times I have felt the presence of Jesus walking along side of me. Often while walking up stairs or on a narrow path, I find myself hugging the side to allow room for Him beside me, helping me to endure life’s challenges. Walking with Jesus through the temple with the money changers or on the path at Calvary helps me to understand the love that the Father has for all of us; for what Father could watch His Son endure what Jesus did if there was not a greater need for our salvation.