Saturday, November 30, 2019


California "Super bloom"

I remember the first time I saw the desert in bloom. I was about 4 years old and we were on the way through the Mojave desert to see my grandmother in Colorado. For those who have not seen a cactus flower, it is hard to imagine the translucent beauty of the petals. And rarely do you find a patch here or there, but rather huge carpets- masses- of flowers carpeting the sand. This stunning beauty is not just because of its visual splendor, but also because it is so unexpected. For most of the year there is no color in the desert. Yet when conditions are right, when the rains come, color explodes into vibrant hues that can look psychedelic.

At times our living in this world is like that desert where we know pain, loneliness dryness, suffering. Knowing this, Holy Mother Church pierces our souls, heals our woundedness, with joyful reminders of why we are here and what are goal should be.  Advent is one of these times.

The season of Advent is known as one of “Joyful expectation.” In the Church we know the third Sunday of Advent is as Gaudete (Joyful) Sunday  in anticipation of the birth of Our Savor which is close at hand. Yet how many in our modern society really know this joy?  I am not speaking of that happiness bought by material goods, but a deep joy which only can be given to us as gift by the Lord Himself.

The lessons we sing at Christmas Matins are all from Isaiah (35). So each week I will present a verse from this great prophet in speaking to us, through the Church today, about the joy of the Lord, ever present to us, especially in His coming.

“The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing.”

While we see disorder in our world, our hope is that one day the Messiah will bring restoration to His creation. The desert wilderness will blossom. We will find joy where we had forgotten hope. There will be rejoicing, abundance, and exquisite beauty. No more will life wither in the chaos of drought and want, but the Living Water, which is our Savior Himself, will pour forth His bounty watering our weak and weary souls with new graces, bringing us to Himself in glory.

Now is the time, now is the hour, to slow down, look for the hidden flowers in our life and prepare for His coming!

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