23rd December 2020

Wednesday, Fourth Week of Advent;

Mal 3:1-4, 4:5-6;    Ps 25:4-5, 8-9,10,14;    Lk 1:57-66


The prophet Malachi in the first reading calls us for an intense preparation to welcome the Lord. This preparation is a must, and includes both spiritual and physical aspects. The spiritual preparation embraces a purification of our senses and the physical preparation involves acts of mercy and love.

Malachi lived in a time of great religious and moral decay. On their return from Babylon, the people of Israel successfully rebuilt the fallen Temple, but failed to trust God and pray earnestly. Here, God and Israel are contrasted. God was always faithful to his promise while the Israelites, on their part, were faithless. Their morality seemed to be dying. Corruption and divorce became part of their living. In the midst of these morally ruinous events, the prophet declares the great day of the coming of the Lord. “Surely, he is coming as he has promised. But who shall stand when he comes? Who can stand when he appears?” Are you ready to welcome him?

In the midst of our joyful preparations for Christmas, these questions seem terrifying and disturbing. The busy schedule hardly leaves us time for a spiritual preparation. Our family responsibilities at times, seem to take away all opportunities for an inner preparation. We end up only with celebrations grand externally yet empty essentially; for, the Christmas celebration is meant to provide a renewal of life by reminding us of the reality of the Lord’s second coming among us, just as he once did many years ago, and the need to be ready. This renewal includes testing and cleansing. As the refining fire brings forth precious metal, and detergent cleanses dirt, so also our lives must be renewed with the fire of God’s love. The attitude of letting go in order to grow, must echo in our hearts until we reach the spiritual maturity where our senses do not dominate our spiritual sight. Let us keep ourselves ready to embrace him, and experience his divine love.

Responsorial Psalm: Look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near

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