Shaking off our spiritual laziness

Where I live the weather the past few days has made me feel kind of lazy. It has been dark, rainy, and today it was foggy. It made me lazy, even though there were many preparations around the house where I live to get ready for Thanksgiving. Since my talents are not culinary, I helped with clean up. But as I thought about the rainy, dark days, and my desire to nap, it got me thinking that my spiritual life can feel like that sometimes. I know what God wants me to do, but I do not do it. The first Sunday of Advent is a time to “reset” as it were. God gives us powerful grace to start over, to acknowledge sins, and to open eyes so that we might be on the watch for his presence.

The Key Figures of Advent: Isaiah

The prophet Isaiah is the key prophet of the Old Testament. Except for the Psalms, the prophet Isaiah is the longest book of the Old Testament. This year, all four of the first readings during the season of Advent, as well as many daily Mass readings come from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Orthodox Christian Church even celebrates Saint Isaiah on May 9. Why is he so important? First, his prophecy is grounded in a powerful relationship with God. The vision we hear described at the start of the book of Isaiah forms the foundation for everything he says. Second, he is able to read the signs of the times. While he was surely politically astute, his message is consistent. Trust in God. Third, Isaiah recognizes and challenges people to see that sincere faith in God impacts the behaviors of our lives. Lastly, it is easy to see in the prophecies of Isaiah a foreshadowing of the life of Jesus and the arrival of the Messiah.

It’s still true: Jesus Christ is Lord

If you have been listening to the readings for the past couple of weeks, you might have noticed that they are kind of heavy. They describe battles, wars, standing up for faith, and hardships. This is largely because it is the case that as we finish out this liturgical year (Advent starts Sunday) we are invited to focus on ultimate things. The meaning of life, our ultimate destiny, our faith. Today’s readings remind us, in many ways, that God is really in charge. And that Jesus Christ is indeed, Lord.

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