Gift: Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.
9 While still more people gathered in the crowd, he said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. (Luke 11:29-30)
Observation: This morning, I was looking for the easy way to explain these two readings, and I don’t think I achieved that. What I found was that Paul’s exhortation to the Galatians and Jesus admonition to the Pharisees could just as easily been addressed to me today as them in their time. Our church can get too caught up in the seasons and forget that we should be living in the moment. Why wait for Advent to start preparing for Christmas? I mean logically we know that Jesus was born over 2000 years ago, he is not going to be born again at Christmas this year. As Father Michael Manning says in his reflection today from the Video Reflections on the USCCB website, we should be enjoying the signs that we have in the sacraments with a joyful awareness of God’s love that is present in all the symbolism that exist in them, especially the Eucharist.
Personification: Joy – The ability to celebrate life even in the midst of pain and confusion. I will try to be displaying the fruit of joy in my life today as I attend our communion service this morning. Even though we do not have the opportunity to celebrate Mass, I should be aware of the mysterious presence of our Lord in the sacrament of the Eucharist this morning and every time I receive it, and I should react with the joy that should come with the knowledge that Jesus gave us this sign that he is always with us.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be aware of your presence in our world today and help me to prepare for whatever is coming. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit. Amen.