2 SM 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16
PS 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 AND 29
Today’s readings, specifically the Gospel, remind me of St. Ignatius’s First Principle and Foundation from the Spiritual Exercises. The First Principle, summarized, says that our goal as Christians is to be with God, who created us and loves us, and so the purpose of everything we do has to be to “praise, reverence, and serve God.” I love the First Principle because it allows us to center our lives on what’s really important. The Christmas season can easily distract us from this main focus. Consumerism and materialism infiltrate into our lives, tempting us to think that gifts, decorations, and parties are the most important part of the season. For college students, final exams, projects, and papers can also distract us and make us think our worth comes from a grade and not from our connection to God.
Zechariah, though, “filled with the Holy Spirit,” tells us God’s plan clearly:
"Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
born of the house of his servant David.” (Lk 1:68-69).
This passage, in the context of Advent, centers us not solely within the true meaning of this season, but also within the meaning of our lives as Christians. God loves us so much that he gave his only son to be with us and suffer with us on Earth. God will liberate us, one day, from this earthly suffering. So, considering this grounding message of Advent, we can better act in our daily lives to “praise, reverence, and serve” this God who loves us.
Julia Murphy is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences and an intern in Campus Ministry.