Joy and Hope in Humility and Simplicity

Isaiah 11:1-10
A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse, a scion thrusts from his roots: on him the spirit of the Lord rests, a spirit of wisdom and insight, a spirit of counsel and power, a spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. (The fear of the Lord is his breath.) He does not judge by appearances, he gives no verdict on hearsay, but judges the wretched with integrity, and with equity gives a verdict for the poor of the land.
His word is a rod that strikes the ruthless, his sentences bring death to the wicked. Integrity is the loincloth round his waist, faithfulness the belt about his hips. The wolf lives with the lamb, the panther lies down with the kid, calf and lion feed together, with a little boy to lead them. The cow and the bear make friends, their young lie down together. The lion eats straw like the ox. The infant plays over the cobra’s hole; into the viper’s lair the young child puts his hand. They do no hurt, no harm, on all my holy mountain, for the country is filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters swell the sea. That day, the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples. It will be sought out by the nations and its home will be glorious.

Psalm 71 Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Luke 10:21-24
Filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, Jesus said: ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’ Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them in private, ‘Happy the eyes that see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’

The Lord sent out seventy-two disciples and they return jubilant. Hearing them recount their deeds and feats, Jesus “rejoiced in the holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth’’.

Joy is an attitude, which goes together with hope.  And, what is it that we Christians put our hope in? The coming of the Messiah and of his Kingdom, in which justice and peace will bloom; a new reality where “Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them.” 

The kingdom we are waiting for is growing each day, and we have to know how to discover its presence amongst us. For the world we live in, so lacking in peace and harmony, in justice and love, how necessary is the hope we have!

Christian hope, which is light and heat for the world, will only be had by those who are simple and humble of heart; as a child.

A good way to prepare the paths of the Lord in this Advent would precisely be to grow in humility and in simplicity, to open our hearts to the gifts of God, to live with hope and become better witnesses of Jesus’ kingdom every day.

Il Signore invia settantadue discepoli e questi tornano esultanti. Sentendo raccontare le loro gesta e le loro imprese, Gesù “esultò nello Spirito Santo e disse: “Ti rendo lode, Padre, Signore del cielo e della terra””.

La gioia è un atteggiamento che si accompagna alla speranza.  E noi cristiani in che cosa riponiamo la nostra speranza? La venuta del Messia e del suo Regno, in cui fioriranno la giustizia e la pace; una nuova realtà in cui “il lupo sarà ospite dell’agnello, il vitello e il leone pascoleranno insieme, con un bambino che li guiderà”. 

Il regno che stiamo aspettando cresce ogni giorno di più e noi dobbiamo saper scoprire la sua presenza in mezzo a noi. Per il mondo in cui viviamo, così privo di pace e di armonia, di giustizia e di amore, quanto è necessaria la speranza che abbiamo!

La speranza cristiana, che è luce e calore per il mondo, la avrà solo chi è semplice e umile di cuore, come un bambino.

Un buon modo per preparare le vie del Signore in questo Avvento sarebbe proprio quello di crescere nell’umiltà e nella semplicità, di aprire i nostri cuori ai doni di Dio, di vivere con speranza e di diventare ogni giorno migliori testimoni del regno di Gesù.