18 December: Rescue and Secure

Silhouette of helping hand between two climber

Monday of the Third Week of Advent

Reading: Jer. 23. 5-8; Gospel: Mt. 1. 18-25.

In today’s gospel passage, we saw a brief description of the events that preceded the birth of Jesus. And we also saw what or who Jesus was supposed to be – Emmanuel – God is with us. What does it mean to say God is with us?

Mary was possessed by the Holy Spirit and had Jesus with her in circumstances that society could stone her to death. But, God protected her – Joseph not only rescued her from disgrace, but the passage ends by saying, he took her home – he secured her. In the first reading we saw what the right attitude towards God should be – a shift from Yahweh who rescued us from Egypt to a Yahweh who secured us with a land and property. Just like a plant is uprooted and planted in a good soil to yield better.

Oftentimes we turn to God asking Him to rescue us from difficult situations. But, God goes beyond, He secures us and sometimes that process could be painful, but fruitful. In the wilderness, Israelites always complained to Moses – “did you take us out of Egypt to let us die here…” – until they entered the promised land and felt secure. For forty years rescue was still agonizing. Rescue isn’t complete until secured.

Let us be patient with God as he is infinitely patient with us. Let him work. We seek rescue; God is working to secure us.

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