Another New Day

Thursday of the First Week of Advent
December 1, 2022

Today’s Readings:

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Isaiah tells us that – “on that Day“, God’s People will sing a new song:

On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah:
 “A strong city have we;
        God sets up walls and ramparts to protect us.
    Open up the gates
        to let in a nation that is just,
        one that keeps faith.

Isaiah 26:1-2

It is the song of a People who have recognized God’s abiding, protective Presence in their lives. That realization impels them to respond in faith and to open their lives ever more radically to God’s constant graces.

And so it is with us.
As we deepen in our trust
that God is with us in every circumstance,
and as we choose to live out of that trust,
our hearts too open
to ever deeper relationship with the Holy.

In our Gospel, Jesus says that this kind of faith is more than words. It is action, choice, presence, witness — all of which declare, “I choose to anchor my life in God and to invite God’s Mercy to live through me.”

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise person who built their house on rock. 
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.”

Matthew 7: 21;24-25

Just what are “these words” of Jesus
to which we must listen and respond?

Today’s Gospel passage comes from the first of the Five Discourses in Matthew’s Gospel by which Jesus teaches the New Law of Love. This first discourse holds treasures like the Sermon on the Mount and the Golden Rule.

These are the “words” Jesus is talking about in today’s Gospel passage — words we must hear and act on in order that God will recognize us “on that Day“. Maybe, if you have a little time, you might like to read through Matthew, chapters 5-7, to savor this First Discourse.

Poetry: Let’s use today’s Responsorial Psalm as our poem-prayer. In it, God’s People celebrate God’s Mercy which has brought them to the “gate” of a new relationship of gratitude and trust with the Holy One.

Give thanks to the LORD, Who is good, 
    Whose mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
    than to trust in human appearances.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
    than to trust in human power. 

Open to me the gates of justice and mercy;
    I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD.
This gate is the LORD’s;
    the just shall enter it.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
    and have been my savior.

O LORD, grant salvation!
    O LORD, grant prosperity!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD;
    we bless you from the house of the LORD.
    The LORD is God, and has given us Light.

Psalm 118:1 and 8-9, 19-21, 25-27a

Music: The Breath at Dawn – Gary Schmidt – some lovely music to start your “new day”.

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