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Sunday, December 7, 2008

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Second Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
2 Peter 3:8-14
Psalm 85
Mark 1:1-8

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"still" time to repent

"In His arms He gathers the lambs." —Isaiah 40:11

The Lord plans to comfort His people (Is 40:1). However, it's hard to comfort a person on the move. When my children were small, they often fell and hurt themselves. I would gather the screaming child in my arms (Is 40:11) and attempt to "give comfort" to them (Is 40:1). Sometimes they would get stiff as a board and refuse to be comforted. Other times, they would squirm relentlessly and would not accept comfort. When they allowed me to comfort them, I placed their head against my chest, and they rested, becoming still enough to hear my heart beat.

This is God's plan for us. He commands us: "Quiet! Be still!" (Mk 4:39) If we let Him, He will gather us in His arms and attempt to comfort us. Like the child, we can squirm away from Him to make another trip to the mall, or become stiff and make "no room for" Jesus, as He experienced at the first Christmas (Lk 2:7).

Conversely, we can decide to become still enough to hear what the Lord says (Ps 85:9). We will then rejoice to hear the beating of His Sacred Heart as He speaks to us. When we are still, we are able to hear Him as He patiently tells us to repent and change our hearts (2 Pt 3:9).

Are you feverishly preparing for the "holidays," or are you daily setting aside "still time" with Jesus? "You have only to keep still" (Ex 14:14). Be still and know He is God (Ps 46:11). Then repent and confess your sins (Mk 1:5).

Prayer:  Jesus, help me to still and quiet my soul (Ps 131:2). "When cares abound within me, Your comfort gladdens my soul" (Ps 94:19).

Promise:  "He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit." —Mk 1:8

Praise:  Praise You, risen Jesus! You comforted the distraught Mary Magdalene just by saying her name (Jn 20:16).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2008

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