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Third Sunday of Advent

Third Sunday of Advent

Advent: wait, hope, joy


Brothers and sisters, Fiat!

It’s “Gaudete” Sunday; the holy season of Advent is a time of waiting, invocation, hope, trust and joy. How is this joy presented to us by God’s word? .- St. Paul says “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say,… rejoice – the Lord is at hand!”.

The prophet Isaiah shows the people of Israel the source of true joy: God who intervenes and saves His people after a long difficult period of slavery. Nature also takes part in this joy. Listen to these word: “The wilderness and the parched land will exult; the Arabah will rejoice and bloom. They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. Say to the fearful of heart: Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God,  He comes to save you… The lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. The lame shall leap like a deer, sing for joy the tongue of the dumb”.

To open myself to joy I need to be materially and spiritually poor. Let’s think about where Christmas is celebrated, without any of those things that we have or seek.

The Psalm then, describes all the mercy of God to neediest and marginalized. It’s a hymn of praise to the providence of the Lord. “The Lord God keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets captives free. The Lord gives sight to the blind; the Lord raises up those who were bowed down. The Lord loves the just; the Lord protects strangers. The fatherless and the widow he sustains. The Lord shall reign forever….through all generations”.

We will find these expressions in the Gospel. Jesus worked many miracles and they are the sign of His goodness, tenderness, love, and salvation forever.

When John the Baptist sent his disciples to ask Jesus, ” Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight,  the lame walk, lepers are cleansed,  the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them”. And then He declares the great praise about John the Baptist.

The signs are there: we must open our eyes, we must be able to see them and understand that they are the signs of the Lord’s presence. The Savior is in our midst. Jesus lists the messianic signs, which Isaiah prophesied and it is as if He would tell to His cousin: “Look around you, John.”

We too can look around us and recognize the signs of God’s presence: many friends met God, desperate people who converted their hearts, people who were scarred by suffering and then learned to forgive, brothers that were blinded by envy, wickedness or gain and then changed completely and became joy, charity and love for many people.

“Look, John, looks at the signs of the silent victory of the coming of the Messiah”.

We all, if we think about it,  can say: “I too have seen those signs, the explosive strength of the Gospel, I have seen people change, heal, see. I too have seen gestures of total gratuity in the folds of our corrupt and restless world, some lives spent in the gift and hope, openness of fraternity in people who were closed and selfish. I have seen many signs of the Kingdom. Is it our problem? An inner blindness that prevents us from enjoying the hidden and discreet presence of God?  So, preparing for Christmas mean to convert our look, and become aware that the Kingdom advances, it is here, and that I can make it real. “

But there isn’t only our Advent, that is the expectation of the coming of our Lord, but there is also God’s expectation, He waits for the creature to make her reign with Him in His Kingdom.

It is an expectation of love by God. He almost” champs at the bit “, so that this expectation can be accomplished.

One day Jesus told Luisa that God uses infinite stratagems that arrive even to the excess, one needs to love indeed in order to know how to find so many discoveries/contrivances of love, in order to be able to give and to receive from whom one loves.

Every time that the creature gives herself to God, in the power of His Volition, God gives Himself to her. If we might know what it means  God abandoning Himself, the grace, the good that He leaves us, our heart would burst us with joy, with happiness and with love.

But this is nothing, God wants to do even more! Every time that the creature gives herself to God, God give her the merit that she has given Him her life, and if she gives it ten, twenty, one hundred, one thousand times and even more, so many times God gives her the merit as if she might have given so many lives for how many times she has given it, and as many times He gives her His life, we renew her in His, He repeats the good to her, rather He increases it, for how many times she has given hers to God.

So much is our satisfaction, the gusto that God experiences when the creature gives herself to Him, that He lavishes so much on her, that as many times He gives her the merit to possess so many Divine lives. This is the “Divine commerce”, He wants her to give to Him and He gives Himself, in order to receive the life of the creature in His Supreme Being, this exchange of life maintains the conversation, He makes known who He is, He makes them feel the ardent heartbeats, the love that consumes Him, how He love her and wants to be loved

And then if she might not feel the need of giving herself continually to us it is a sign that she doesn’t love Him, and her heart is not in possession of God’s irresistible love, this is the sign of true love, to want to always give oneself, almost in every instant to whom one loves; but while he gives himself, the strength of love imposes itself that he wants to receive and if he might not receive he would feel suffocated and would burst into cries of sorrow, as to deafen Heavens and earth. And therefore in order not to arrive to such straights of sorrow, God’s love waits that the creature gives herself to Him and God immediately gives Himself to Her, with the whole infinity of His Divine Will.”

don Marco

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