Thursday, December 18, 2014

WAY Christmas Novena - Day 3

December 18

And the angel of the LORD appeared to (Moses) out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed... And (the LORD) said, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”  And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.  Then the LORD said, “I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters; I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey... Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring forth my people... out of Egypt.”  But Moses said, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3;2-12

Sometimes, indeed very often, His approach to us coincides with a catastrophe and is in the midst of it, and for that reason is hardly noticed.  We are too intent on the din of the disaster to hear the “still, small voice,” or we drown it with noisy tears.  Disasters are not God’s will, they are the result of sin and opposed to God’s will; but in His mercy He does allow that the suffering resulting from them, though never the sin that caused them, can be caught up in to His love and do good.  Thus Christ’s first coming on earth was in the midst of the disaster of the world’s suffering caused by sin, and it was precisely to take hold of this suffering and transform it by love that He came. Caryll Houselander

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times once gave the law in cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.

Hope of the World, we see sin and sorrow everywhere
and daily succumb to discouragement.  Burn bright in our hearts when our small hopes flicker, Lord.  Place our feet too on holy ground so that when you call us like Moses back to Egypt,we will hear and surrender our suffering to the purifying power of your redemptive love.

Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.