December 7, 2021
Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent
Memorial of St. Ambrose
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we are blessed, once again, with magnificent readings!
Our psalm coaches us to rejoice and sing – a song that will heal the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;Psalm 96:1-2
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless the LORD’s name;
announce God’s salvation, day after day.
Our first reading is the exquisite “Comfort” passage from Isaiah. And our Gospel gives us Jesus tenderly seeking the single lost lamb.
The first and last words of these two readings – COMFORT, LOST – capture the whole intent of today’s message:
Life is a maze whose walls are heightened
by our incivility to one another.
Isaiah calls us to be a leveler of walls,
a straightener of twists, a bridge over deadly valleys.
Jesus calls us to seek and carry the lost sheep.
We are called to be Mercy in a suffering world.
These beautiful and challenging readings come to us this year at a time when Pope Francis has offered a clear and similar challenge to the world. Last week, during his visit to the refugee encampment on the Greek island of Lesbos, Francis voiced his profound pain at the international immigration tragedy:
“Let us not let our sea (mare nostrum) be transformed into a desolate sea of death (mare mortuum),” the Pope concluded. “Let us not allow this place of encounter to become a theatre of conflict. Let us not permit this “sea of memories” to be transformed into a “sea of forgetfulness”. Please, let us stop this shipwreck of civilization.”
“It is an illusion to think it is enough to keep ourselves safe, to defend ourselves from those in greater need who knock at our door”, Pope Francis said. “In the future, we will have more and more contact with others. To turn it to the good, what is needed are not unilateral actions but wide-ranging policies. History teaches this lesson, yet we have not learned it.”Source for quotes: Vatican News – vaticannews.va
During his address, the Pope asked every man and woman, “to overcome the paralysis of fear, the indifference that kills, the cynical disregard that nonchalantly condemns to death those on the fringes.”
Resource: To learn about and reflect on the issue of immigration, here is a link to NETWORK. Founded by Catholic Sisters in the progressive spirit of Vatican II, NETWORK works to create a society that promotes justice and the dignity of all in the shared abundance of God’s creation.
Music: Comfort Ye from Handel’s Messiah – sung by Jerry Hadley
As we pray this glorious music today, let us ask for the strength and courage to be Mercy for the world, to find the ways to comfort God’s people, close by and at life’s borders.