November 29, 2011
Tuesday of the First Week of Advent
Father Jon Budke, LC
Listen to the podcast version here.
Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things from the wise
and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things
have been handed over to me by my Father. No
one knows who the Son is except the Father, and
who the Father is except the Son and anyone to
whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” Turning to the
disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that
see what you see. For I say to you, many
prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but
did not see it, and to hear what you hear,
but did not hear it.”
Introductory Prayer: Christ, I believe that
you can put my talents to good use. I hope
that you will allow me to come to know you
better each day. I love you and trust that you
are guiding me through life. Not only are you guiding
me in my life; you are also letting others be
edified by my example.
Petition: Lord, help me to trust in
you through every circumstance of life.
1. God Reveals Himself to
the Childlike: We long to know Christ better. How we
yearn to understand a little more about God and his
infinite love! Our small intellects can barely lay hold of
any notion or attribute of the Divine Persons. Even if
we were to study long hours, we would come to
the conclusion that our learning is nothing. True knowledge of
Christ and of God doesn’t come by learning from books.
True knowledge of Christ and of God is revealed to
those who learn to quiet their souls in prayer. We
need to imitate the resourceful little child who falls on
the ground and then runs to his mother to be
scooped up in a loving embrace. If we can remember
our littleness on one hand and God’s pure, loving benevolence
on the other, we’ll permit—even delight in—his wiping away from
our faces the blood and tears caused by our sins.
Only when we surrender ourselves into God’s forgiving, tender hands
can we say that we know him.
2. God Chooses the
Childlike: Christ singles out each one of us for a
particular mission in life. We might think of the many
people around us––educated, wise, learned people––who would surely be better
suited for the calling at hand, who could do a
far better job than we could. However, Christ isn’t looking
always for the cleverest person, the one with the quickest
wit, or the one with the best education. Many times
he scrutinizes the corners of the globe for the soul
that is ingenuous, open to his plan, and willing to
carry it out. Simplicity and humility are the key words
when it comes to being chosen by God to participate
more actively in his plan of redemption.
3. The Childlike Can
Entrust the Bigger Picture to God: How many prophets and
kings longed for the time of Christ, when the work
of salvation would be fulfilled! During their time of waiting
they left us an example of constancy and dedication to
the things of God, despite never seeing many of the
things promised them. They played an active role in leading
and guiding the people of their time, but they didn’t
see the fulfillment of all God’s entire design. God asks
us to be like them, planting the seeds of redemption
that may not sprout for years. We, like the prophets,
aren’t always given the grace to see the entire picture.
That is part of being childlike: trusting that God our
Father knows what he is doing. Cardinal John Henry Newman
prayed in his famous poem, The Pillar of the Cloud:
thou my feet: I do not ask to see
distant scene – one step enough for me”.
Do I entrust
the big picture of my life to God my Father,
or do I try to yank the “video control” from
his loving hands?
Conversation with Christ: Christ, I don’t ask for
great understanding or knowledge. Help me to accept with the
simplicity and trust of a child all that you want
to do in me. I don’t ask for great insight
into the depths of your divine attributes. I just want
to grow in friendship with you, and I know that
means I need an unshakeable confidence in your infinite love
for me. I want to allow you to love me
and direct me according to your good will.
Resolution: I will
open my heart more widely to God’s plan for my