Jesus shows me in today's Gospel that truth and authority is not a matter of strategy - going this way or that based on its effect. Truth is something we go within to discover. It is a spiritual practice to discern and find what I truly believe. It is easy when struggling with a question to take a poll of the people nearest me of their opinion on the matter and then go from there. That may be politically correct but it does not seem like authenticity. Discernment is a deep quest utilizing many resources: books, teachers, prayer, spiritual direction, faith, fellowship. It is taking time to struggle with questions and to live with ambiguity. Because this can be so difficult to achieve on my own, prayer is of the utmost importance. Psalm 25 cries out, "Teach me your ways, O Lord." This is a balanced way to begin the decision making process. It places us right where we need to be: begging God for the graces to be open and teachable.
Maybe it would be helpful to look into my life right now and find a place where God might be trying to teach me something. Perhaps it is through a challenge or a conflict or maybe a particular blessing. Am I approaching this event with humility, a beginner's mind? Opening up to God can mean the need to soften my own time-held presumptions and to see with new eyes. Taking time to pause is crucial to find out what I truly believe about this dilemma, separate from what others expect or pressure me to believe. Can I know that God will be with me in a loving supportive way? Can I sit with the issues until I find a way into my own peaceful, intuitive knowing? Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Advent comes from the Latin word, adventus – an arrival or a coming. In the context of the season, Advent means that the Lord is coming. Read more of the Advent introduction...
First Week of Advent
Second Week of Advent
Third Week of Advent
Fourth Week of Advent