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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
Luke 10:21-24

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seeds of hope

“A Shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse.” —Isaiah 11:1

Out of what appears to be a dead, hopeless situation, the Lord can cause new life to sprout and rise up (see Is 11:1). Your stump might be a broken family devastated beyond reconciliation, a ruined marriage without the possibility of reuniting, or a drug-addicted child whose mind and life seem beyond rebuilding. You look at the mess and you see a dead stump. How can any life come out of this death?

David’s kingdom was splintered after his son Solomon died. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was defeated and irretrievably lost. All that remained was the tribe of Judah. All God’s promises for His people seemed lost forever. Yet out of that small remnant, a Shoot sprouted (Is 11:1) and the Messiah came forth: Jesus Christ, Son of David, King of Israel, Messiah, Lord, and God.

The Advent Scriptures proclaim that though we see a lifeless wasteland, God sees abundant life (Is 35:1, 7). We see a landscape “parched, lifeless and without water” (Ps 63:2), but God sees rivers and luxuriant trees (see Is 41:18-19). We see devastation; God sees the seeds of new life. Walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). Let your heart dare to hope. Believe the Advent Scriptures.

Prayer:  Father, I kneel in awe at Your merciful plan of salvation. How great is Your love; how deep are Your designs. I offer myself to You as Your servant to bring this Good News to many.

Promise:  “Blest are the eyes that see what you see.” —Lk 10:23

Praise:  Within a few weeks of moving into his retirement complex, Martin started a Bible study for his fellow residents.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(As the New Year approaches, don’t forget the Lord in your resolutions. Plan to spend time at our retreat center in beautiful Adams County, Ohio. Check out our website www.presentationministries.com for upcoming retreats or consider a silent retreat.)

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for the publication One Bread, One Body covering the time period from December 1, 2023, through January 31, 2024. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Chancellor, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio May 17, 2023"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.