Reflection for Saturday, December 6, 2014: 1st week in Advent..

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Kozak, Keith
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|Throughout the month of November, I had spent a lot of time thinking about those friends and family who have gone before me.  One of those special people in my life was my grandfather, Ignatius (whom we affectionately called "Papa").  He used to call me everyday, and as a child I often did not take the time to pause from my so-called busy life to spend time with him and listen to him.  However, now that he is gone, I still hear his voice whisper in my ear encouragement, praise, and words of love.|I remember the good times that we had together, but also the quiet times we had together.  As we reach the end of the first week of Advent, I'm reminded of the waiting, the quiet, and the calmness.  I am sure that Papa spent hours by the phone, simply waiting for me to return his calls, and as a shut-in homebound elderly gentleman, most of his days were spent in the quiet and calmness of his little apartment.|The first reading today reminds me of that voice… a voice that sounds in my ears… giving me encouragement and strength, guiding me on the right path, and showing me the way to go.  Isaiah says,| "No longer will your Teacher hide himself,|but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,|While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears:|'This is the way; walk in it…'"|Our God IS a gracious God, he gives to us all we need when we cry out, all we have to do is ask and God will answer.  God is our strength, God is our encouragement, God is our guide, and God is that voice speaking in my ear words of support, love, and giving me the bread that I hunger for and the water for which I thirst.|Isaiah tells us of all the good things that will happen after the Messiah comes: |"No more will you weep" |"As soon as He hears He will answer you"| "…rain for the seed…"| "The wheat… will be rich and abundant"|…and the list continues.|This passage ends with the Lord binding up the wounds of his people, and that he will heal the bruises left by his blows.  This gives me pause to remember that God is a gracious and generous God.  God is a caring Abba, Father, Papa, who is waiting for us…  Waiting to heal our brokenness, and to bind up our woundedness.|This Christmas Season Christ has already come and is coming anew. Our Messiah will do more than we ask or can even imagine.  Too many times, as Advent (year after year) seems to come and go, I get wrapped up in my so-called busy life, and don't take the time for Christ.  This year I am going to make sure I am not "too busy" to answer God's call and to prepare a place for him.  This year I am going to raise my expectations and not simply reflect on Christ's past comings, but to remember that Christ is alive and present here and now.  This Advent I am going to stop, take pause, and welcome Christ anew in my life as I pray, "Maranatha, Maranatha, Come, Oh Lord, and set me free!"
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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