11 December 2008 Thursday of the 2nd Week of Advent
Isaiah 41, 13-20; Psalm 145; Matthew 11, 11-15
The readings today tell us about our thirst. The first reading conjures the images of the afflicted and needy whose tongue seeks water like desert seeking water. But those thirsting for water will find water through the graciousness of God. God assures them that He will not forsake them, that he would open up rivers and fountains so that the desert will become a marshland. And when it becomes fertile with an abundance of water, He will let trees like pines, myrtle, cedars and olives grow on it. The promise of finding what we seek is the theme of Gospel: John the Baptist was the answer to the people’s thirst for the Word of God.
In our lives today, there are situations that highlights what we actually thirst for. There are difficult moments in our lives when we need comfort. There are tough times when we yearn for consolation. There are those who are lonely and hunger for companionship. In the reading from Isaiah, the suffering people who looked for the long-awaited Messiah are given a hope-filled message from God. This prophet described a consoling God who lovingly cares for His people.
Two points for reflection: The Season of Advent should help us reflect on our infinite thirsts. Sometimes we move through life without knowing what we need and what we desire. Sometimes we do not find directions because we do not know who we want and what we want.
Finally, the Season of Advent helps us reflect on how God consoles us in our lives. We remember our “John the Baptists” who were answers to our needs, whether it was a hunger for knowledge or a thirst for warmth found in friendship and love. We can remember our friends who put their arms around us when we are distraught and troubled. We can remember people who have said kind words to us when we felt unworthy and unforgiving of ourselves; or those whose words and actions encouraged and inspired us. We can remember our mentors, parents, teachers who have guided us when we needed a companion in our life’s journeys.
It is apt that we send Christmas cards in the Season of Advent. When we send greeting cards, we refresh our memories of how God has consoled us through our interpersonal relationships. We celebrate the Seasons of Advent and Christmas with memories of love.