Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Footsteps of the Poor

December 2, 2010

Thursday of the First Week of Advent

Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal Rock. He humbles those in high places, and the lofty city he brings down; He tumbles it to the ground, levels it with the dust. It is trampled underfoot by the needy, by the footsteps of the poor. Isaiah 26:4-6

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” Matthew 7:24-27

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.” (Luke 1:46-55)

Are you ready to walk the Advent walk? Today, Jesus reminds us that he walks the walk. What he asks us to do is “listen” and then walk with him in our action.

When we walk, our feet touch the ground. If we follow our agenda, like “those in high places,” then we risk falling and getting trampled on by the lowly. Isaiah and Jesus use the images of high and low to describe the poor and the proud as well as those who listen and those who do not. Those who do not listen and the proud (the same group, perhaps?) both face the same fate – collapse.

The poor, the lowly, are already closer to the group with the imagery here. Yet they are the ones who will trample upon the proud fool who built his house on the sand of his pride, his possessions and his position. Why? Because they are closer to God.

Today’s readings also foreshadow the Canticle of Mary which we will pray daily in the Divine Office and will hear in the Gospel later in this season of preparation.

This is a season of preparation. How can you better listen and act on the Word of God through Advent?

Take a walk this week, not in the shopping mall, but in a local park. Listen to the sounds of your feet hitting the ground, trampling upon the leaves remaining which have not been blown away by the autumn and the winds of early winter. Reflect upon the lowly and how you can walk closer to God by staying “grounded” in the words we hear in the Good News.

Pick up something you see – a branch, a leaf, a rock, or other symbol – and keep it with you through the season as a reminder of your daily need to walk with the poor and lowly.