The Responsorial Psalm is our song of support as we work for change: “Our God will come to save us!”
To take on a task as daunting as the renovation of human society all over the world, we need something to encourage us! And we find it in Isaiah 35: 1-10: “Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak. Say to those whose hearts are frightened: ‘Be strong, fear not! Here is your God…. He comes to save you.’ ”
People can’t see the truth? “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened.” People won’t listen? “The ears of the deaf will be cleared.” People are just unable or unwilling to act or respond? “Then will the lame leap like a stag; the tongue of the mute will sing.”
To find courage we must believe in what God can do. And when we don’t see visible results we look ahead, to the “end times,” when Christ’s victory will be complete. The fact is that, sooner or later, if we persevere in working to establish the reign of God on earth, “The desert and the parched land will exult…. Streams will burst forth in the desert…. And those whom the Lord has ransomed will… enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy.” We work to make it happen now, but we wait for it to happen in God’s time. What we know for certain is, “Our God will come to save us!” That is a certain fact.
It is true that at times the world seems paralyzed. In Luke 5: 17-26 Jesus tells us why. When some men brought to him a man so paralyzed he could do nothing but lie on a mat, the first thing Jesus said to him was, “My friend, your sins are forgiven you.”
Jesus was making a point. Sins don’t cause physical paralysis. But sin is the source of moral paralysis. If society seems unable to break out of established patterns of exploitation, violence and deceit, this inflexibility is the inertia of sin.
Jesus can cure that. He healed the paralyzed man to prove it: “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk?”
When the man did get up and walk, the crowd was “full of awe,” and they “gave praise to God…. ‘We have seen incredible things today!’”
Advent is a time to think about what Jesus can do, what we can do working with him, and to come to some decisions about that.
“Our God will come to save us!” Are we ready to go with him?
Initiative: If you seek fulfillment, seek it where it can be found. Use Jesus. When discouraged, say, “Our God will come to save us!” And keep going.