(Image of the Advent wreath is from ImageVine/courtesy of www.imagevine.com. All rights reserved.)
(Is 30:19-21, 23-26; Mt 9:35-10:1, 6-8)
“The gift you have received, give as a gift.” Isaiah speaks today about the wondrous gifts God will give to the people of Jerusalem. “You will weep no more.” The Lord will give you what you need and no longer hide from us. We will see our teacher, and it will all be made clear what we should do – “walk this way, turn left or right.” Sometime we ache for such clarity in our lives. What is it we should do? What is our path in life? What is the Lord calling me to? Isaiah uses some of the language of the desert to promise us what we need, lots of water and fodder for our cattle to graze – not much of each in the desert.
Often our lives can seem like we are living in the desert, without much water and so we are thirsty, and no greenery to rest upon when we grow weary of wandering and searching. Isaiah uses the image of light: even the moon's light will be like that of the sun and the sun seven times as bright. How much more enlightening do we need? Isaiah promises us the presence and the power of God to wipe away our tears and give us clarity by his teaching us the path to follow, and to enlighten the darkness of our minds so we in brilliant light where we are going.
Jesus tells us that the reign of God has come in the person of himself and this great gift that we have received can now be given as a gift to others. We are invited to become one with him in his ministry. We have known what the presence and the power of God has done in our own lives and we cannot keep to ourselves the possibility of that happening in other's lives. We will proclaim healing, clarity and bold teaching to others. We want them to share the joy we have felt in finding the Lord. What we have been given as a gift we now give as a gift. We have indeed seen our Teacher, and he is the Christ. The gift of God in Jesus and his transforming power in our lives is meant for all. How can I keep from sharing this wondrous gift with others? “The gift you have received, give as a gift.”
– Fr. Ambrose Phillips, T.O.R.