Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Lectionary # 177. First Tue. in Advent. Isaiah 11:1-10. Psalm
72:1.7-8.12-13.17. Luke 10:21-24:

Jesus rejoices in the Holy Spirit and speaks of his faithful followers as
devoted children who have access to the wisdom and revelation of the
kingdom of God. Of such children the kingdom is made. Even John the
Baptist is considered lower than they! Isaiah speaks of a tiny shoot (a
child?) shall spring out of the tree and roots of Jesse. The Messiah will
be from the lineage of the son of Jesse. His name will be David, "the
beloved" and will be one of the greatest of kings ever to live. Jesus'
messiahship though from the royal lineage will be the humble one of a
servant of God--a suffering servant Messiah who has the wisdom of a child
guided by the Holy Spirit. Isaiah rejoices and says the gifts of the
Messiah will be the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit and will be used for
helping other to have the wisdom that Jesus is proclaiming to his devoted
followers. Isaiah leads us into some idyllic imagery about a baby and a
child, but it is not idyllic when it comes to the realm of the Spirit and
that of wisdom: "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 shall lay his hand on the
adder's lair."?)

If we are familiar with the lives of holy people and the saints, we realize
that they give us the model of simple and honest faith similar to that of a
child. They accomplish great things for others without having any power or
money! They are not only the Teresas of Calcutta or Lisieux but also the
people whom we know who are generous and outgoing in service to others.
They baffle worldly wisdom and make fools of powerful and selfish people.
We need them to show us the scandal of the Scriptures. They do not look
down upon the word of God but rather up to the word of God; they respect it
as divine inspiration not merely historical reminiscing or interesting
ancient literature.

Our Advent reading thus suggest us to rejoice with Jesus and Isaiah and to
become like children in the eyes of God. There is no fear of the coming of
Christ at the end of time. There is rejoicing that they remember that
Christ was born as a babe in a little town of a simple woman from Nazareth.

We are encouraged in this early part of Advent to season our prayer of
expectation with joy and rejoicing. If we listen carefully and enjoy many
of the traditional hymns and carols of this time of year we will be able to
return to the child within us and rejoice in the Holy Spirit as Jesus did
when he prayed and admired how God is at work in all of God's children and
the "little ones." May some of these hymns that we enjoy haunt our minds
with their words and melodies and remind us to "rejoice in the Holy
Spirit." Amen.