November 29, 2016 (readings)
Tuesday of the First Week of Advent
Father Jon Budke, LC
Luke 10: 21-24
Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
Introductory Prayer: Christ, I believe that you can put my talents to good use. I hope that you will allow me to come to know you better each day. I love you and trust that you are guiding me through life. Not only are you guiding me in my life; you are also letting others be edified by my example.
Petition: Lord, help me to trust in you through every circumstance of life.
1. God Reveals Himself to the Childlike: We long to know Christ better. How we yearn to understand a little more about God and his infinite love! Our small intellects can barely lay hold of any notion or attribute of the Divine Persons. Even if we were to study long hours, we would come to the conclusion that our learning is nothing. True knowledge of Christ and of God doesn’t come by learning from books. True knowledge of Christ and of God is revealed to those who learn to quiet their souls in prayer. We need to imitate the resourceful little child who falls on the ground and then runs to his mother to be scooped up in a loving embrace. If we can remember our littleness on one hand and God’s pure, loving benevolence on the other, we’ll permit—even delight in—his wiping away from our faces the blood and tears caused by our sins. Only when we surrender ourselves into God’s forgiving, tender hands can we say that we know him.
2. God Chooses the Childlike: Christ singles out each one of us for a particular mission in life. We might think of the many people around us––educated, wise, learned people––who would surely be better suited for the calling at hand, who could do a far better job than we could. However, Christ isn’t looking always for the cleverest person, the one with the quickest wit, or the one with the best education. Many times he scrutinizes the corners of the globe for the soul that is innocent, open to his plan, and willing to carry it out. Simplicity and humility are the key words when it comes to being chosen by God to participate more actively in his plan of redemption.
3. The Childlike Can Entrust the Bigger Picture to God: How many prophets and kings longed for the time of Christ, when the work of salvation would be fulfilled! During their time of waiting they left us an example of constancy and dedication to the things of God, despite never seeing many of the things promised them. They played an active role in leading and guiding the people of their time, but they didn’t see the fulfillment of all God’s entire design. God asks us to be like them, planting the seeds of redemption that may not sprout for years. We, like the prophets, aren’t always given the grace to see the entire picture. That is part of being childlike: trusting that God our Father knows what he is doing. Cardinal John Henry Newman prayed in his famous poem, The Pillar of the Cloud:
“Keep thou my feet: I do not ask to see
the distant scene – one step enough for me”.
Do I entrust the big picture of my life to God my Father, or do I try to yank the “video control” from his loving hands?
Conversation with Christ: Christ, I don’t ask for great understanding or knowledge. Help me to accept with the simplicity and trust of a child all that you want to do in me. I don’t ask for great insight into the depths of your divine attributes. I just want to grow in friendship with you, and I know that means I need an unshakeable confidence in your infinite love for me. I want to allow you to love me and direct me according to your good will.
Resolution: I will open my heart more widely to God’s plan for my life.