Advent Benedictine Spirituality Gaudete Gospel John the Baptist Lectio Divina Psalms Scripture Uncategorized


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Today we’re celebrating Gaudete Sunday, a time to pause and remember that even in dark and uncertain times there is cause for joy and hope. Looking at the readings through the filter of the psalm (145) I am struck by this:

“It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever, who is just to those who are oppressed.”

In these challenging and uncertain times there is plenty that would oppress us. Today’s readings remind us never to give up hope however dismal things might seem. Isaiah writes that even the dry, barren wilderness of the desert can blossom into new life. St James calls us to be patient because the Lord we are waiting for will come, however unlikely that may appear. Neither of them deny the challenges that we face, or the costliness of hope. Instead they tell us to look for and keep alive those glimmers of hope that are buried in the midst of the challenges.

John the Baptist exemplifies that hope, sending disciples to Jesus to ask:

“Are you the one who is to come, or have we to wait for someone else?”

Even in the bleakness of his prison cell he is still seeking, still hoping, still looking for the Messiah he proclaimed with such conviction. It seems to me that the key to the faithfulness the readings call us to is in the psalm verse. It is the Lord’s faithfulness that enables us in our turn to strive to be faithful to God. It is God’s faithfulness that makes it possible for us to trust, hope and keep seeking God’s presence even in the most challenging of circumstances.

What gives you the courage to keep hoping today?