Archive for December 13th, 2020

Third Sunday of Advent – December 13, 2020

Today is Gaudete, or “Rejoice” Sunday and it is a pause in our watchfulness as we await the coming of Light to a world longing for hope. As we continue our journey into a season of darkness in the northern hemisphere, we reflect on the plundering of the Jerusalem Temple, and our transformation that grows form the ashes of despair. When we listen to the ancient carol Gaudete, we have a sense of the joy we might find amid the sadness of dark days. Click on the image above or visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUbcHfnx0pY

2 Maccabees 3

A Prayer for the Plundered

Simon lusts after control and so lies and connives to gain his end.  He appears to succeed, yet we all know from our perspective in the second millennium that a new temple brings down the Jerusalem temple and rebuilds it in three days.  This happens in the person of Christ.

The faithful who follow the good and compassionate priest Onias immediately take to the streets, the priests prostrate themselves in petition, and Yahweh answers their prayer in a surprising way.

Gérard de Lairesse: The Expulsion of Heliodorus from_the Temple

Heliodorus and King Seleucus IV both recognize the power and awe of this God of the patriarchs and Heliodorus himself undergoes a conversion.

It should not surprise us that the men in this story who grasp for control of the treasury resort to any means to achieve their ends; nor should it surprise us that God answers the pleas of these holy and faithful people.

It should not surprise us that even those enveloped in the power, money and control can have their eyes opened.

And it should not surprise us that this conversion will often happen as the result of a cataclysmic event.  We must constantly prepare ourselves for these experiences and these people.  And so we pray . . .

Dearest God, Creator, Savior and Consoler,

Lead us away from the ways of Simon and keep our eyes open for the times we want to take control. Show us how easily we may be tempted to resort to any means to achieve our own ends. Remind us to make a new temple of ourselves as Christ has asked. Remind us that we are called to be holy disciples.

Lead us to you as your faithful. Keep our ears open for your word, your message and your rescuing messengers. Remind us to intervene and intercede for those who wish us harm. Remind us to act when we see injustice.

Lead us to the Christ who dwells within us. Keep our hearts open to our own conversion. Remind us to witness for you in the marketplace. Remind us to stand and to proclaim your goodness.

We ask this of you our Loving Protector. We petition you our Loving Redeemer. We entreat you our Loving In-dweller. Amen.

Tomorrow, we move forward with the nativity story . . . 

Adapted from a reflection written on January 5, 2008.

Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1674_G%C3%A9rard_de_Lairesse_-_Expulsion_of_Heliodorus_from_the_Temple.jpg

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