• Immersed in Christ

Immersed in Christ: December 1, 2020

Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

A Litany of Praise

Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.


On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.


What we look forward to at Christmas happens every time a baby is baptized. Praise God! The human race puts forth a “new shoot,” and God makes it blossom with divine life. In every person reborn in Christ, Christ is reborn with a new body: our body. Our body becomes his body, and we “become Christ!” (Words of St. Augustine, Catechism of the Catholic Church 795). Praise God. Baptism gives us a new identity: we “become Christ.” Praise God for it. What we praise we will appreciate. Praise makes us aware.


Isaiah is a litany of praise:


Not by appearance shall he judge: praise him!

Not by hearsay: praise him!

He shall judge the poor with justice: praise him!

And give justice to the afflicted: praise him!

He will be girded with justice: praise him!

And faithfulness will envelop him: praise him!


Isaiah is a litany of praise: “Not by appearance shall he judge…not by hearsay… He shall judge the poor with justice…” Why not write your own litany?


Why not write your own litany? If you make yourself aware of what you appreciate in Jesus, you will be able to praise him more. Then you will appreciate him more. Praise and appreciation will build up each other—until at death they both break through the borders of finitude and keep expanding endlessly without measure. That is heaven.


Isaiah said of Jesus, “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him.” This is the “gift of the Spirit” that all the baptized are meant to receive (Acts 2:38, 8:15, 10:45, 19:1):


a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding: Have you experienced it? Praise him!

a Spirit of counsel and of strength: Have you experienced it? Praise him!

a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord: Have you experienced it? Praise him!


Perhaps you have experienced all of these, but just didn’t notice because you didn’t praise him for them at the time. Praise makes us aware. What we praise we will appreciate.


When Jesus saw the gift of the Spirit in his disciples, his first response was praise: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see… 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.”


When all are aware of this gift:


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.


Because of knowledge, “Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.”


Then there will be nothing but praise.


DAILY PRACTICE: Be aware. Notice when you act by the “gift of the Spirit.” Praise God for it.


ADVENT PRAYER: Send forth your Spirit, Lord, and you will renew the face of the earth.”





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