Isaiah 35:1-6A, 10
1. Isaiah said God would give signs to tell the Israelites of their delivery from slavery. What were these signs? What similar signs of God’s loving presence are there in your life? And in the fields of medicine and social justice today?
2. Who does God use to transform the world now? Name one thing you could do in your home, community, parish, work or environment to make the world a better place.
1. “See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth.” How does this statement relate to Advent? What part does nature play? What was the farmer doing? What do you do? What does God do in you during this time? How is patience involved in both situations?
2. What are some qualities that patience brings with it? What does impatience bring? St. James warns his community about complaining about one another. Is this a fault peculiar to James’ community? How does it relate to patience?
1. Explain in both the literal and the metaphorical senses, “the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleanses, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised.” John asked Jesus if he was the one who is to come.” Jesus answered with the above statement. The people who cam to John were seeking out the deepest desires of their hearts. How was Jesus’ response an answer to those desires?
2. John the Baptist might have expected a mighty one and was confused at the gentle, healing Jesus. Pope Francis invites us into the cell of John the Baptist to look into his soul, which was weighed down not only by chains, but by “the shackles of doubt.” Does God always come into your life the way you expect?
[John the Baptist] suffered in prison—let us say the word—the interior torture of doubt, saying: “And he invited his disciples to ask Jesus: ‘But tell us, tell us the truth: are you he who is to come?’ because that doubt made him suffer. ‘Was I mistaken in proclaiming someone who isn’t [who I thought]?’ The suffering, the interior solitude of this man. ‘I, on the other hand, must diminish, but diminish thus: in my soul, in my body, in everything … ”
… (L)et us ask the Lord for the grace of humility that John had, … the grace that there (be) always space in our lives for Jesus to grow and that we abase ourselves, to the very end.