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Justice and Humility: Very Important Virtues

December 5, 2013

Reflection

 

Today is Thursday of the first week of Advent. We come across with the prophet Isaiah, who is very familiar to us because he is one of our Advent companions; along with John the Baptist and the Virgin Mary. This dynamic trio will be with us in our wait and hope of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Isaiah 26: 1-6, and Matthew 7: 21, 24-27). And, like always in Advent, there is a deep relationship between the first reading and the Gospel. Who are the people who are really able to be close to God? Who are the ones who are dear to Him? Who are the ones who really walk His way and are able to enter His doors? These are the just. The word “just” has a deep meaning in the Old Testament. The just is a person who has the way of God in his/her words, thoughts, touch, and deeds; it is a person who has the just measure, it is the one who has adjusted in God’s ways, it is the one who does justice in the name of the Lord.

 

In the Gospel, we have a strong calling to trust in the Lord. It is a strong calling to place our strength in God. We are given a comparison of two houses: the house built over sand that falls, and the house that is built over rock that resists the gale. The importance of this example is for us to discover what gives us strength. The readings tell us that what gives strength is to lean on the One who is strong. That is (i.e.), the arrogant leans on himself, and the humble leans on God. Justice and humility go together. These two virtues are very special and much needed in the Advent season. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to recognize God’s ways, without them we wouldn’t be able to wait for the Lord. Let us then cultivate our humility together with justice; this is the daily learning to be able to adjust ourselves according to God’s ways. Let us get rid of all arrogance and all auto-sufficiency. Let us allow the Lord to make us strong in our projects so that we live His success and victory in our lives. May God give us wisdom so that we live faithfully according to His teachings.

 

Thought Questions

 

1. How do you live the Advent season?

2. What is your favorite deed, devotion or tradition that has made your Advent season “worth it”?

 

Prayer

 

We plead you, Lord, to send He who is to come; come, Lord Jesus and don’t be late; heavens open and let His dew descend. Devine Jesus child, come be born in my Heart and eliminate sin and place in it your virtues. Amen…

 

By Victor Morales

 

Readings

 

Reading 1 IS 26:1-6

 

On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah:

“A strong city have we;
he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us.
Open up the gates
to let in a nation that is just,
one that keeps faith.
A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace;
in peace, for its trust in you.”

Trust in the LORD forever!
For the LORD is an eternal Rock.
He humbles those in high places,
and the lofty city he brings down;
He tumbles it to the ground,
levels it with the dust.
It is trampled underfoot by the needy,
by the footsteps of the poor.

 

Responsorial Psalm

PS 118:1 AND 8-9, 19-21, 25-27A

 

R. (26a) Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, 
for his mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes. 
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Open to me the gates of justice;
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.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

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

Gospel MT 7:21, 24-27

 

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 man who built his house on rock. 
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. 
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand. 
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house. 
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

Tags: prepare, christmas, virtues, humility, justice, agatha, st agatha, retreat, advent retreat, advent

Comments

Fr. Bill  |  here  |  December 6, 2013  |  7:15 PM

I identified with the theme of "trust" in One Greater than I. I know how often I have trusted my own ego--which is always so small, and creates such "smallness" in my responses to life. I agree with you that Advent is about opening our trust and broadening our confidence in God's Providence--that in the end, He will have us where He wants us. Thank you.


Angie Schieferecke  |  Kansas  |  December 5, 2013  |  8:00 PM

Former President Mandela, a just and humble man, passed away today.  A prisoner for 27 years, he forgave his jailors.  After being released from prison, five of them became his body guards.  President Mandela submitted himself and his power to the new constitution of South Africa.  Much like President Washington, he stepped down from office because he thought it best for his country.  Justice and humility.  Two special virtues for this Advent Season.  Thank you.      


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