Mass Reading & Meditation for December 20, 2012
Meditation: Isaiah 7:10-14
3rd Week of Advent
“Ahaz answered, ‘I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord!’” (Isaiah 7:12)
Like King Ahaz, we too may resist the idea of asking God for a sign. God has already made things so clear in his word that asking for a further sign seems to show a lack of trust. Or maybe we don’t believe God is interested in the details of our daily life or that he cares enough to manifest himself to us in a personal way.
Still, a sign from God can be exactly what we need to move us along the path to deeper spiritual maturity. Near the beginning of that path, God delights in answering what has come to be known as The Seeker’s Prayer: “God, if you’re real, I want to know you. Show yourself to me in a way I can recognize.” This is a good way to pray for our loved ones who do not presently acknowledge God.
Those who have already committed ourselves to the Lord often hesitate when there’s a fork in the road. We can easily decide between a clear good and a blatant evil. Obviously I should count to ten instead of exploding at my defiant teenager! But more often, two good alternatives are placed before us.
God trusts us to make a good decision and promises to walk with us along either branch of the path. But before we decide, we long to know what he thinks is truly best for us. In a situation like this, it may also be appropriate to ask God for a sign.
That sign may take many forms. Sometimes it is a spoken word that resonates in our heart. Sometimes it’s something in nature, like a rose blooming out of season. Or we can open Scripture, and ask the Spirit to lead us to a particular passage. A person considering a job transfer may find Genesis 12, God calling Abraham to leave his homeland, or St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:26, “Remain as he is.”
God doesn’t work like a magician. When you sense him leading you in a particular direction, test the word in several ways. Make sure it is consistent with Scripture and our Catholic tradition. Seek the advice of trusted mentors. Wait until you are at peace that this is God’s word to you. Then move forward with confidence, and let God go to work!
“Father, I delight in doing your will. Make your way clear before me.”
Psalm 24:1-6; Luke 1:26-38