Daily Mass Reflections - 12/6
“When my heart is faint, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” ~ Psalm 61:2
Both today’s 1st Reading (Isaiah 26:1-6) and Gospel (Matthew 7:21, 24-27) afford us the opportunity to view Jesus as the rock upon which our Week 1 Advent theme of hope resides. The first candle of the Advent Wreath, violet in color, in fact symbolizes the virtue of hope. It is sometimes referred to as the “Prophecy Candle” in remembrance of the prophets, especially Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of the coming Messiah. in the words of Saint John Paul II, “It is He, Jesus Christ, the true Life, who gives hope and purpose to our earthly existence.”
“For the Lord is an eternal rock” Isaiah reminds us in a passage that foreshadows the day when justice and peace will prevail, a day when the mighty cities that were ruthlessly built upon the backs of the poor and oppressed will be “trampled underfoot by the needy, by the footsteps of the poor.”
In our Gospel, we are told that those who obey Jesus, the word made flesh, “are like a wise man who built his house on rock,” going on to point out that “the rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.”
The metaphorical rain, floods and winds will certainly roll and at times even roar through our lives. No one is immune. But it will be those whose lives are built upon the everlasting and immovable rock of scripture, prayer, and the sacraments that will ultimately persevere. Conversely, those who build their foundation on the shaky, ‘sandy’ promises of the fleeting secular world will ultimately collapse into ruin.
The Advent Season encourages us to reflect upon our foundation. Where does our hope reside? In whom do we trust? What is the source of our joy? Do we even possess joy? In a season predicated on preparation, we must prepare for the coming of the Child Jesus but also His second coming, the Savior whom Isaiah joyfully heralds in our 1st Reading. For the true disciple, hope is not merely a flickering whim or a flimsy wish. It is a rock upon which the faithful firmly and confidently stand. That rock is Jesus Christ.
“Dear Jesus, thank you for being my rock, for giving my feet a solid ground to stand on. Thank you that even in the storms of life you are my solid foundation. Thank you for never giving up on me” ~ Amen