“I am the Lord, there is no other!”

Homily on the readings for Dec. 15, Wednesday of the III week in Advent

“I am the Lord, there is no other!” God speaks this message to us five times in the first reading today, with some variations. Through the prophet Isaiah, God also reminds us why this is true: He is the creator of light and darkness, the heavens and the earth, life and justice. Every creature is ultimately accountable to God, to whom belongs all power and glory. He is both nurturing and loving Father, and just Judge. The psalm emphasizes that these two aspects are complementary. God unites kindness and truth, justice and salvation, and promises to give all these benefits to His people.

But these are not things that God gives as if they were gifts separate from Himself. God IS Justice, He is Truth, He is Goodness, and He is our Savior. When He sends us these gifts, He sends us Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, one of the divine Persons of the Trinity. As the Gospel shows, it was not easy for some people to recognize Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God. They expected God to change the world in one fell swoop by a massive show of divine force. On the contrary, He does not impose His gifts on the world from outside; He brings them to the world from within, coming as a man and transforming us into Him through the sacraments, which fill us with the life of God and join us to the Mystical Body of Christ. His visible miracles were not the essence of His message; they were both the work of His compassion, and even more importantly, signs of the spiritual miracles that He and His followers after Him were to perform.

So now, the task of transforming the world is our task. Each Advent is an opportunity to ask God to renew and strengthen His presence in us at Christmas, to help us become more and more kind and just, living in the Truth, rejoicing in and sharing the salvation that He won for us. Only in God can we be saved, but to paraphrase St Augustine: the God who created the world without our help, does not wish to transform it without our participation.


About Matthew Green

I am a translator, origami artist/teacher, and photographer, a blogger, former philosophy professor, and I love to sing. You can see my photos on Flickr and buy prints of some of them on Fine Art America. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter (@mehjg), and in various and sundry other social media sites on the web.
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