Immersed in Christ: December 11, 2020
Friday of the Second Week of Advent
Praise God for Generosity
“Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.”
Blessed the man who… delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night.
Is this a generous bargain or not? God says:
“I, the Lord, your God, will:
“teach you what is for your good,
“lead you on the way you should go.
“give you prosperity, vindication, descendants;
“your name [life] will never be cut off or blotted out from my presence.”
All we have to do to enter into his promise is “hearken to my commandments.” And this is not that difficult. God sent Jesus to be the Way, the Truth and the Life made visible and humanly accessible to us. Jesus himself said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
What makes his burden light is that Jesus carries it with us. He doesn’t teach us just from outside, or lead us just by walking ahead of us, or giving us good example. He teaches us from within, inclines us from within to follow his way, gives us life by being the Life of God within us.
This is more than the promise of Jeremiah: 31:33: “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jesus went way beyond that. He comes himself to live in us, to empower us from within to follow his way, to let his own divine truth shine in our minds, to live his own divine life with us, in us and through us.
Jesus put the mystery of our Christian existence into a single line when he said, “I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). Paul condensed it into three words: “The mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints is… Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:26).
This is the mystery of our being. Praise God for it. Praise God for his generosity. What we praise we will appreciate.
But we need to praise him consciously. For his word. For his truth. For the clarity of his way. For the life—divine and human—that he is giving us right now. What we praise we will appreciate. Praise makes us aware of what we know but were not noticing. Praise makes us aware of who God is and who we are through our relationship with him.
We praise him by giving thanks. The Mass constantly exhorts us to this:
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.
When we thank God we are aware of our relationship with him. He knows us, notices us, cares about us, provides for us. He is our Father. We are his “blood relatives,” having become “sons and daughters of the Father” in the Son.
We need to remember this all day. Praise God for it. Thank him “always and everywhere.” What we praise we will appreciate. Praise makes us aware of who God is and who we are.
DAILY PRACTICE: Be aware. Keep repeating with praise and thanksgiving: “I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”
ADVENT PRAYER: When you say the line above, add the The WIT prayer: “Lord, do this with me, do this in me, do this through me.”