Thursday of the Third Week of Advent
God wants us to know he’s “for real.” He’s serious. He loves us and wants to be a transformative part of our lives. As proof in today’s first reading, he says to Ahaz, ‘Ask for a sign! Whatever you can think of, I’ll show you!’ But Ahaz doesn’t want to believe. There are times when we don’t want to believe either. When God calls us to do something challenging and promises to be with us through the difficulty, we sometimes would rather avoid the challenge altogether. Perhaps we don’t want to ‘jump’ to find out if God will ‘catch us.’ Perhaps we believe God’s call in our life was once and done. Perhaps we are just comfortable with how things are today; whether life is good or bad, at least we know how to deal with it. For whatever reason, Ahaz simply didn’t want to hear God’s call.
As we continue on our Advent journey, let’s consider that God is continuously calling us to our Vocation. Just as he called Mary, God has a mission for us. It is not just a single call in our early adulthood, but a complex and ever-changing call to be who the Spirit needs us to be in this world. Mary didn’t just give birth to Jesus; she brought him up and later became his first disciple. Her calling was multi-faceted. Ours is no different.
What signs are guiding you? If the Lord spoke to you as he spoke to Ahaz, what sign would you ask for? Jesus wants to walk with you as you answer your call. He is “God with us,” Emmanuel. The more life you have lived, the more signs God has shown. Just as God worked with Mary’s vow to perpetual virginity, God will also work with our commitments, vows, and life experience. God will also work with our baggage, knots, or ‘issues.’ We can trust these signs that life provides. We can also trust the Sacraments as signs to guide us along the way to meet Emmanuel. Perhaps most importantly, we can trust in God’s deep love and simple desire to just be with us. Today, take time to reflect on what God has shown you through signs and Sacraments. What is God calling you to in the coming year? Could it be Sabbath rest, continuing your present course, or a new direction? May we discern the signs and wonders God has worked in our lives, so that we may truly know the closeness of Emmanuel. Amen.