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December 6, 2017 - Up the Mountatin

Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

Scripture Readings

Have you ever climbed a mountain?  How does the experience of being on a mountain differ from being in the valley?  Mountain climbing certainly can be a physically exhausting process.  Yet part of the reason for going up a mountain often goes well beyond the physical.  For those who have done it, getting to the top of a mountain is gratifying in an almost surreal way.  Being at the top can be a spiritual experience.  From the mountain top we see a perspective of the big picture that is often invisible from the valley.  In my own experience, the beauty of the mountain top is enlivened by snow, clouds or even a fast approaching storm whose electricity demands our flight.

The reading from Isaiah shows us a glimpse of the eternal mountain top.  The beautiful imagery is of the celestial banquet, a symbol of eternal happiness.  Death and tears will be destroyed forever, and we will rejoice and be glad with the one who has saved us.  This beatific vision is not meant to be understood as disconnected from our lives.  It is a more joy filled extension of faithfully living in the house of the Lord all the days of our life! 

Living as a faithful disciple means that we need to allow the Lord to guide us on right paths and allow him to be our shepherd.  What in your life gets in the way of the Lord leading you?  It is hard to wait upon the Lord, when we live in a culture that thrives on instant gratification.  Often, when confronted with a reoccurring struggle about which I have prayed intensely, I think to myself…“What on earth is taking the Lord so long?”

The gospel is a reminder that the Lord alone is God.  What is so often true for us was also true for the disciples.  “Lord, we can’t do that we don’t have all the resources we need.”  We want to give God our plan and tell him to follow it, yet Jesus tells us otherwise.  When we inventory the gifts we have, we realize that with prayer and gratitude, these gifts will empower us to build the kingdom.  Spend some time today reflecting on the gifts you have been given.  Remember that these gifts are not just for you, but for the Body of Christ.  Prayerfully consider a new way to share your gifts with others so that they too might be led up the mountain! 

On the feast of St. Nicholas, Lord we thank you for all the many gifts you have provided for us so that we not survive, but thrive.

Deacon Michael Montgomery