December 10, 2020 – Thursday of the Second Week of Advent
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/121020.cfm)
The very image of God holding us tightly is certainly a comfort to us. We have this image of God, not giving up on us but continues to hold us and to embrace us. Such image must have been the very experience of the Hebrew people in the Old Testament. Prophet Isaiah who proclaimed God’s word to us today in the first reading, tells us of this, “I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you (Is 41:13).”
These comforting words in the Book of Prophet Isaiah do not only give us assurance but also empower us. God’s help empowers us because God becomes our strength, our confidence and our friend.
In a time when we are overwhelmed with trials, with difficulties and even in struggling because of our sins, God continues to grasp our right hand. Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew also tells us that the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent are taking it by force. However, even in the midst of violence God’s justice and mercy will prevail.
Again, this image of God not wanting to give up on us is revealed in the history of our salvation. God sent prophets to remind the people of His presence and mercy. God’s messengers and His blessings, and miracles done to the people were expressions of God grasping our hand.
John the Baptist who was sent ahead to announce the arrival of the Messiah, was another figure and expression of God grasping our hand. Through John, who in the words of Jesus, was Elijah, the one who is to come, brought the people to repentance. John prepared the hearts of the people and reminded them of God’s mercy coming into flesh. John gave us the assurance that God comes to dwell among us and become our very help.
God’s ultimate expression of help and presence is the person of Jesus, whose birth we shall celebrate in few weeks’ time. As we acknowledge God’s empowering presence, let us also recognize those friends and family members who in their own way held our hand and helped us to rise again and gain confidence. We have experienced their presence who refused to give up on us and continued to see hope in us. Let us be grateful to them by also giving hope and refusing to give up on anybody.
We may become God’s presence and help to others today. Hinaut pa.