Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thursday of the First Week of Advent

Isaiah 26:1-6
Psalm 118
Matthew 7:21-27

REFLECTION: “The Eternal Rock”
God loves to use metaphors and symbols to convey ideas to us. When we, at the last day, behold God face to face, he will no more look like a large chunk of granite than he will an old white-haired, bearded grandfather. The idea that God is an eternal Rock for us should be simple enough for most of us to latch on to... many can identify a member of their family as the one that everyone else turns to in times of trouble. When crisis hits, that person seems to be the one who is able to keep it together and galvanize the efforts of all.

God seeks to be that rock for us. He, who is able to triumph in every situation, deeply wishes to be for us the unshakable, eternal rock on which we depend. But mere dependence on him in times of trouble is not intended to be an end unto itself. For, you see, we are called to use that dependence as a foundation for reaching out to others in his name.

In our Gospel reading today, Jesus takes the metaphor of rock, and transforms it for us in precisely this manner. If we are to lean on God as our rock, we must also build upon him. Our relationship with him should affect every aspect of our lives. It should affect not simply how we react to tragedy, difficulties, and pain, but also how we react to the good times, how we interact with others, and how we engage with our world, our society, and those among it who most desperate need to hear the Good News of his love.

A genuine encounter with the Rock that is God will never leave us unchanged. Such an encounter will be an agent of sanctification in our lives. You see, the Christian life is a journey, one begun in our infancy of faith, and marked time and again by milestones of transformation. Through his Spirit, the Father is molding us day by day in the image of his Son, so that we might mature in faith and grow in sanctity. Through such growth, we are able to not reach out to others, as well as continually deepen our own relationship with our Triune God, in ways that will constantly surprise and delight us. God opens the gates to us for growth... and he bids us to draw near to him, to make him our Eternal Rock. Let us allow the Spirit to carry us to his side each moment of our days, that we might cleave unto him who is able to make us, and all things, new.

Today, how have I allowed Yahweh to be my rock?