Monday, November 29, 2010
Readings for the 1st Week of Advent
Even after converting, I find that I still prefer the Office of Morning Prayer found in the Episcopal Prayer Book to the Catholic Liturgy of the Hours. This morning, the Old Testament reading from the 1st chapter of the Book of Isaiah should make all of us in the decadent West fall to our knees:
"Hear the word of the LORD you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; . . . I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. . . . When you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. . . . If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
ISAIAH 1: 10-20
I cannot help but read this and shudder. We as a society certainly have "hands full of blood." We allow the murder of our unborn children and we allow those that are already born to live in poverty. We allow the elderly to live alone uncared for and unloved. We are interested only in ourselves and our selfish pleasures. I can't help but think that God is talking directly to us when he says that our assemblies have become a burden to Him and He hides His eyes from our prayers. I think about masses where children play with video games and adults carry on petty conversations and go through the motions of the Mass without thinking. We should all fall on our knees and tremble.
But there is hope. The verse I left out of the above quote gives us great hope in the coming Messiah:
"Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD; though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool."
This Advent, we should all hurry to Confession and Penance, so that our lamps will be full of oil when the Bridegroom comes lest we be shut out of the banquet and sent away.
God Bless You All.