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New Life

First Reading: Isaiah 45:6-8, 18, 21-25

I am the LORD, there is no other;
I form the light, and create the darkness,
I make well-being and create woe;
I, the LORD, do all these things.
Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above,
like gentle rain let the skies drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
let justice also spring up!
I, the LORD, have created this.For thus says the LORD,
The creator of the heavens,
who is God,
The designer and maker of the earth
who established it,
Not creating it to be a waste,
but designing it be lived in:
I am the LORD, and there is no other.

Who announced this from the beginning
and foretold it from of old?
Was it not I, the LORD,
besides whom there is no other God?
There is no just and saving God but me.

Turn to me and be safe,
all you ends of the earth,
for I am God; there is no other!
By myself I swear,
uttering my just decree
and my unalterable word:
To me every knee shall bend;
by me every tongue shall swear,
Saying, “Only in the LORD
are just deeds and power.
Before him in shame shall come
all who vent their anger against him.
In the LORD shall be the vindication and the glory
of all the descendants of Israel.”

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 85: 9, 10, 11-12, 13-14

R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD –for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.

Gospel: Luke 7:18-23

At that time,
John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask,
“Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
When the men came to the Lord, they said,
“John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask,
‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’”
At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits;
he also granted sight to many who were blind.
And Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

NAB

dec 16

Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year in the life of the Church, and it really brings to the forefront of our minds how we should be preparing our hearts and minds for Christ at Christmas, but it can also be a great time for our own personal renewal.

We’re being invited into a deep silence right now. We should be clearing away the extra noise. And often I find that the extra noise that’s loudest comes from myself. My own second guessing, doubts, and dreams. When we’re busy and unfocused it’s amazing how these unfounded thoughts can gain footholds in our thinking. We can convince ourselves of so much that may be far from the truth. Or we can become bogged down in negativity.

In today’s First Reading is a beautiful and clear calling from the Lord that He made our world to be a great, wondrous place for us to live in. He made it for us, and is calling us to live a full life.

Since this is the start of a new year which we begin in silence and waiting, I want to take a closer look at what’s holding me back from living the full life that God wants me to live. I want to root out the wounds and hurts that hold me back from truly loving others. I want God’s truth to speak to lies that I cling to in my thinking. I want to make changes so that I can let go of sin. I want to confess and receive grace.

This change can feel overwhelmingly difficult, where do I even begin?

It begins in the quiet prayer of my heart. Turning my heart towards Jesus, asking him what He wants to heal and change in me, and waiting patiently for a response. Jesus came to give the blind sight, the deaf hearing, the dead new life. We just need to prepare our hearts for the miracle.

What in my life is holding me back from living a full life? What needs to change? Let’s find some silence today to examine our hearts and how we can let Jesus work miracles in our life.

Christy Isinger is the mom to five lovely, loud children living in the Canadian wilds. You can find out more about her here.

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