Wednesday, December 19, 2012

19 December: O Radix Jesse


Below is a post written by fr Robert Gay OP, which Godzdogz ran, back in 2006,  under the title "It's not too late". Fr Robert has recently returned to Oxford as Bursar of Blackfriars Hall and Studium.


Readings: Judges 13:2-7, 24-25, Psalm 70:3-6, 16-17, Luke 1:5-25

Let’s try for a moment to imagine that all we know about Jesus is some vague notion that he has something to do with God, that he is someone who will change our lives and that we will find out how on Christmas day. Then when Christmas day comes we discover that Jesus is God incarnate, God come into the world as flesh and blood. Can we imagine how this incredible news might dramatically change our lives, not just on Christmas day, but forever? For most of us it is hard to imagine what this might feel like. We are all too familiar with the story, so we pass over it almost without a second thought. During these last days of Advent we must prepare for Christmas in such a way that when we hear the Christmas story, it comes to us afresh, as if for the first time.


In today’s Gospel, Zechariah seems to be world weary, set in his ways and caught up in the routine of daily life. So much so that he is not a man prepared to receive God’s message, a message which is God’s gift. This probably resonates with our own experience. But see how God brings Zechariah two gifts: the gift of a son, and the gift of silence. The silence gives him the time to be prepared, time for his idea of an inferior, predictable God to be swept away, preparing him to receive God’s love more fully. Regardless of how good or bad this Advent has been there is still time left for us to be silent, to allow God to shape us into people who will willingly accept his Son this Christmas. It is an opportunity not to be missed.



O Root of Jesse, set up as a sign for the peoples, before whom kings will stop their mouths, to whom the nations will pray: come to set us free, delay no more.


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