Prayer and Meditation for Tuesday, November 29, 2016 — “Seek Always The Holy Spirit” — “Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.”

Tuesday of the First Week in Advent
Lectionary: 176

Behold the Lamb Print

Art: Behold the Lamb by T. C. Chiu

Reading 1 IS 11:1-10

On that day,
A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A Spirit of counsel and of strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.On that day,
The root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
The Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Responsorial Psalm PS 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17

R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
He shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, our Lord shall come with power;
he will enlighten the eyes of his servants.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 10:21-24

Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to the disciples in private he said,
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
For I say to you,
many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

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Commentary on Luke 10:21-24 From Living Space
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As Christmas and all it means approaches, the Gospel reminds us of the tremendous privilege that has come to us through our knowing Jesus Christ. “Happy the eyes that see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.”
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These words were spoken by Jesus just after seventy-two of his disciples had returned from their mission of proclaiming the Kingdom and doing the same work as he was doing. They echo words he had spoken to them earlier: “Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that ‘they may look but not see and hear but not understand’ (Luke 8:10). Words which are to be taken not in the sense that only the disciples are offered insight and understanding but rather that the disciples are, by definition, those who open themselves to hear and to see and to understand the message.
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So for us today is a day of special thanksgiving for being so blessed. But with privilege comes responsibility. It is for us to see more clearly who Jesus really is and to have a deeper understanding of his vision and of his ways. It is for us to listen ever more acutely to the Word of God so that it really penetrates our consciousness and is absorbed into our very being.
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The HOLY SPIRIT?
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The very first Christians knew that some people cannot accept that there is the spirit of God within them….
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In 1 Timothy 4: 14-16:
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Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.”
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Recommended reading:
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 Book: Holy Spirit by Edward Leen.
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In Reading today’s Gospel we were immediately reminded of,  “Unless you become like little children…”
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Related:
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Jesus said:  (Click on to see more)
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In the scripture, Jesus and others say, “do not be afraid” a lot. That’s because those who put their trust in God, don’t go haywire as much as the rest of us.  A priest friend of mine says, “Rid your brain of all thought that are not good for you. Half of us in the world say that cannot be done. The other half are doing it — and they are better off for it.”
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Cristo en toda su gloria (Christ in all his glory) by
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Reflection by The Most Rev Msgr William Goh Archbishop of Singapore
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29 NOVEMBER 2016, Tuesday, 1st Week of Advent
CALLED TO SHARE IN THE VOCATION OF CHRIST

SCRIPTURE READINGS: [ IS 11:1-10; LK 10:21-24   ]

Christmas is a season of hope.  The first week of Advent particularly focuses on the theme of hope.  What is the hope of every man?  It is the hope that the paradise promised to us in Adam would be ours.  It is the hope that our yearning for justice, peace, love and unity would be realized.  This too was the longing of Israel.  It was their hope that there would be a King who would gather Israel together and Israel would once again be given its glory and prosperity as during the reign of David.  Such a vision and hope for justice, peace and unity is expressed in God’s plan for us as well.  If we have the same aspiration for justice, peace and righteousness, it is because we are created in the image of God.

Indeed, in today first’s reading Isaiah too envisaged a day would come when creation, which has been destroyed by sin, would be restored to its original plan.  On that day, according to the Isaian prophecy, “the wolf lives with the lamb, the panther lies down with the kid, calf and lion cub feed together with a little boy to lead them. The cow and the bear make friends, their young lie down together. The lion eats straw like the ox. The infant plays over the cobra’s hole; into the viper’s lair the young child puts his hand. They do no hurt, no harm, on all my holy mountain, for the country is filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters swell the sea.”

But how could this dream come true?  Israel after King David had only seen kings that led the people astray and divided.  The kings were more concerned with their interests than that of the people.  Hence, Isaiah prophesied that from the dynasty of David, a Messiah would come, “a shoot springs from the stock of Jesse, a scion thrusts form his roots”.  He would have all the skills and strength of the Solomonic legend for “on him the spirit of the Lord rests, a spirit of wisdom and insight, a spirit of counsel and power, a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”  Since He is filled with the Spirit of the Lord, He has no fear of man, “he does not judge by appearances, he gives no verdict on hearsay, but judges the wretched with integrity, and with equity gives a verdict for the poor of the land. His word is a rod that strikes the ruthless, his sentences bring death to the wicked.”  Indeed, this king would be scrupulously fair in the administration of justice.  His strength lies not in physical or military might but in his wise and just decisions.

Of course, this prophecy is fulfilled in today’s gospel in Jesus.  In His prayer, Jesus revealed His identity as the Son of the Father.  He said, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children.  Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do.  Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

It is significant that Luke prefaced this prayer of Jesus by specifically mentioning that when Jesus prayed, He was “filled with joy by the Holy Spirit.”  Clearly, this prayer was not uttered simply by human will but in the power and prompting of the Holy Spirit. The implication is that Jesus precisely is that man so filled with the Spirit as prophesied in today’s first reading.  He is truly the Messiah, the personal representative of God.  But more than just a representative, Jesus is the Son of the Father.

In choosing these two texts and juxtaposing them, the Church is already anticipating for us that in Jesus, who is the bearer of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God made flesh, is the fulfillment of the much-awaited king that Israel has always been waiting for.  As the Messiah-king, He would be the one who would lead all men into unity.  He is the only one who could reconcile us with the Father and with each other.  Not only is He the reconciler of humanity but of the whole of creation.

In this context, the disciples were called blessed because they were the privileged ones to come into contact with the Messiah.  Indeed, as Luke has it,  “Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them in private, ‘Happy the eyes that see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’”  It is true that the disciples of Jesus were blessed.  But faith in Jesus as the Son of God took time and the full revelation of this only came at the resurrection.

Hence, in a certain sense, we are more blessed than the people of the Old Testament and even the disciples because we are recipients of the final revelation as well.  In Jesus, in incarnation, passion and resurrection, and at Pentecost, we encounter Jesus, the Risen Lord in person.  On this basis, we were then able to celebrate His universal kingship two weeks ago and also to await His second and definitive coming at the end of time.

However, this fullness of revelation which we have been so privileged to receive is not only for us, it is in fact received on behalf of others. We are called to announce Him as the king of peace to others and that He is the hope of humanity.  Only when all recognize Him as king, can there be one kingdom where there is peace, love and unity.  It is therefore our responsibility to proclaim Jesus as the shepherd-king to all, for He is the one who will gather all men into unity with each other.

Indeed, by virtue of our baptism, we have been given the same spirit that anointed Him for the same mission.  We are given the gifts of the Spirit to witness to Christ who is our Prince of peace.  Like the people in the Old and New Testament, we too must play our part in guiding the people to see Christ as their Messiah.  Through the gifts of the Spirit, we are called to announce Christ as the King through our words and deeds of love, compassion and good works.

Indeed, if we are to be His disciples and apostles, we must be filled with His Spirit, the Spirit of the Shepherdas delineated in today’s first reading.  To acquire such a spirit is to have the heart of Christ.  Consequently, the most important thing for a disciple is prayer and intimacy with the Lord.  Through a deep experience of His love, springs our real calling and our vocation.  Without a love for prayer and for the Lord, one cannot speak of a true vocation.

This is the basis of missionary dynamism.  Without holiness through a deep prayer life, we who have not known Jesus cannot proclaim Him to others.  Only then will your love for Jesus and your knowledge of Jesus grow.  As the Holy Father, Pope St John Paul II told us, mission calls for a “pedagogy of holiness” which should be characterized by the “primacy given to the person of Jesus Christ, to the hearing and proclamation of his Word, to full and active participation in the sacraments, and to the cultivation of prayer as a personal encounter with the Lord.”

Thus, before anything else, those who aspire to be the disciples of Jesus Christ must strive to grow in personal holiness, which is to live the life of the Spirit. To grow in holiness is to live the life that God wants us to live here and now, by being responsible in whatever office we hold in life, be it as worker, parent, student, manager or employer. In this way, people will see you as witnesses of Christ and find in you people who are different from others.

Let us pray that we might be more prayerful, more conscious of our dependence on the Lord, so that we can be more discerning and more aware of what the Lord is calling us to do in life.  Yes, we must pray that we will be more open to God’s plan for our lives.

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Written by The Most Rev William Goh Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore

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A theme repeated over and over again in the scriptures is, “Do not be afraid.”
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When someone today asks, “What do we get as Christians?” we might answer: “Do not be afraid. Everything is possible with God.”
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Related here on Peace and Freedom:
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God, I offer myself to Thee –
to build with me and do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self,
that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties,
that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy Power,
Thy Love and Thy Way of Life.
May I do Thy will always!
Thank You God, AMEN!
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Survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan march during a religious procession in Tolosa on the eastern Philippine island of Leyte on November 18, 2013 over one week after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the area. The United Nations estimates that 13 million people were affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan with around 1.9 million losing their homes. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images) When the going gets tough, we have to get our faith going!

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One Response to “Prayer and Meditation for Tuesday, November 29, 2016 — “Seek Always The Holy Spirit” — “Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.””

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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