- Father David M. Knight
Father David's Reflection for the First Tuesday of Advent
The Responsorial gives us the assurance and source of fulfillment: “Justice shall flourish in his time, and
fullness of peace forever” (Psalm 72).
Isaiah 11:1-10 tells us justice shall flourish because “A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse [Jesus’ ancestor]…. The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him. He shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. 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.”
The root and beginning of all justice and peace, all renewal of Church, government and society, is the knowledge of Jesus: his knowledge shared with us, our intimate knowledge of him as a person, our knowledge and acceptance of his knowledge as Light of the world. If we want our lives to have meaning and value on earth, we have to begin with this: getting to know Jesus, understanding his mind and heart.
Jesus said all fulfillment consists in this: “This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
Luke 10: 21-24 tells us that only through Jesus can we know the Father as he is, and only through the Holy Spirit can we truly know Jesus: “No one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son — and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” But because we have become “sons and daughters in the Son” by Baptism, true children of God, we can know the Father as the Son does: “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6). Through the actions of the Word of God made flesh, through the words of God recorded in Scripture, and through the Spirit poured out in our hearts, we can know God. In this knowledge is our fulfillment and the renewal of the world.
We don’t have to be super-smart or super-educated to know God. What is “hidden from the wise and the intelligent” God reveals even to little children — and to all who come to him with the openness of children. We just have to come to him.
Advent is an invitation to do this so that “Justice shall flourish in our time, and fullness of peace forever.”
Initiative: If you seek fulfillment, seek it where it can be found. Know Jesus. Set aside some time to commune with Jesus. Choose a time of day and a place where you can be quiet and peaceful. Read his words; ask yourself what they tell you about the mind and heart of God, what meaning they have for your life, how you can live them out in practice. Let yourself be “filled with knowledge of the Lord as water covers the sea.” This is the path to fulfillment.