The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

First Week of Advent

Date: 
Fri, 12/02/2016
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

In his vision of the future of God’s people,
the prophet Isaiah foresees what will happen, how things will change,
with the coming of the day of the Lord.
“This is what can be expected to happen
when God visits his people with salvation.”
I believe what Isaiah says about Israel as a nation
can be said about each one of us as individuals.
 
If someone came to you, to me, and asked “How is Jesus Christ working in your life?”
this passage from Isaiah could be used as a framework for assessing such divine activity.
Two indications of the work of grace are repentance and conversion.
These are a matter of human choice, a matter of human response
to what is seen and what is heard.
If we never see God, if we never hear God, we will never respond to God.
 
We can expect that if we accept and receive Jesus into our lives at least two things will happen:
1.) we will gain greater clarity of sight; what was blurry will come into sharper focus;
what was unrecognizable (and hence misjudged) because of the gloom of darkness will give way to truth;
and 2.) we will experience an increase in our ability to hear, a sensitivity and an attentiveness that allows us to detect sounds that we were prevented from hearing because of some interference, some obstacle between our ears and the source of divine revelation.
 
If we accept and receive Jesus we can expect to having certain traits, attitudes, dispositions
removed from our lives:  the tyrannical use of power, i.e., mistreatment of others, seeking advantage over others, manipulating, disrespecting others.
Arrogance and pride will be purged.
Deceit, error, injustice, dishonesty, condemnation, intentional evil…
all these and more will dwindle and give way to love, forgiveness, humility, transparency, fruitfulness.
 
If we accept and receive Jesus into our lives there are also unreal expectations to be avoided.
1.) We do not become super-human. 
We do not escape the imperfect and wounded nature of our human existence. 
2.) we do not gain access to knowledge that is unavailable to others.  This is Gnosticism.
And 3.) the transformation brought about by grace is not immediate
nor is it ever complete on this side of heaven.
There is something to be said about being “born again”.
Just as when we come physically into this world, when we are born again in Christ,
we are helpless and ignorant and needy.
We grow over time, we develop, we mature by way of nourishment, nurture, instruction and guidance, experience, reflection.
There will always be something unknown to discover.
 
Our prayer for today:  “O Lord, we rejoice in You for You are the Holy One.  As we wait for the work of Your Son to save us and our world to be completed, fill us with hope, with trust and with patience.  Help us to believe, especially in times of trial, in a future of Your making.  Amen!”