In today’s readings, Isaiah announces and names the gifts and work of the Spirit of the Lord and in the gospel, Jesus rejoices in the Holy Spirit.
Both readings lend themselves to prayer in what St. Benedict describes in Lectio Divina as: "…The ability to listen deeply with the ears of our hearts…" So, today we are invited to open ourselves to be drawn into the presence of the Holy Spirit and open to the Spirit’s work in transforming our own lives and hearts.
Let us read these scriptures slowly, take time to ponder them in prayer… enjoy a long, loving look at the source and meaning of the traditional names of the gifts of the Holy Spirit…the gifts that rest upon us in the Spirit of the Lord:
A Spirit of wisdom and understanding;
A Spirit of counsel and of strength;
A Spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord….
Isaiah goes on to describe peace… safety… for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord…
We may want to read and ponder the whole passage… and reflect on its meaning in each of our own lives what wonderful Advent gifts – to give and to receive!
At the end of today’s gospel, Jesus turns to his disciples and to each of us …He tells us that we are blessed because we see and hear what many of the prophets and kings desired to see, but did not see or hear what we have been gifted with.
As we conclude our reflection and prayer today, what have we heard with the "ears of our heart" that we want to share with another today?
Sr. Marcella Fabing, CSJ, is on the staff of Christ the King Passionist Retreat Center, Citrus Heights, California.