1st Week of Advent, Tuesday, Dec 1

Isaiah 11:1-10 / Luke 10:21-24

 "They desired to see what you see”:

The French painter Vincent van Gogh produced 1,700 paintings and drawings before he died in 1890. He sold only one of them—for $85. Van Gogh died, believing he was a failure. Yet, recently, one of his paintings sold for $1 million. Van Gogh never knew what a great artist he really was. What is true of van Gogh is also true of many of us Christians. Few of us really appreciate in this life the greatness of our calling. We have been called by God out of darkness into his own wonderful light.


How well do we appreciate the great gift that God has lavished upon us? Jesus said, "I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it." Luke 10:24


The olive tree is very hardy tree. It can resist drought and disease and even fire, and it can live to a great age. Its root system is strong and robust and the peculiarity is that it is capable of regenerating the tree even if the above-ground structure is destroyed. It is with this peculiarity that the 1st reading used to describe the promise of salvation for Israel - "A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse, a scion thrusts from his roots".

With that will also come about a glorious time of peace and harmony, and also of integrity and faithfulness. Yet the promise of salvation and the glorious reign of God would require patience and waiting and trusting in God's promises.


Just like an olive tree that may take as long as 15 years to bear fruit, the glorious time of peace and harmony, and integrity and faithfulness may also take that long to come about. Yet in the meanwhile, the roots of the olive tree are spreading and strengthening itself for its growth ahead. So even if there seems to be happening above-ground, there is certainly unseen activity happening underground. 

So even if we don't see it, we know it is happening. More so with God's grace, which we can't see but yet we believe is working. 

Yes, blessed are we to whom the mysteries of God are revealed. And more blessed are we when we believe and wait in hope and patience.


It is those who realize their own indigence, says Jesus, who are receptive to God’s gifts. With such people, Jesus can make his new beginning, also today, in this Advent.

 Opening Prayer

Lord our God, you never give up on people. Again and again you want to make a new beginning with us. You showed us in Jesus your Son the kind of people you want us to be. As your Spirit rested on him, pour out on us the same Spirit, that we may see our mission in life with your wisdom and insight and that we may have the strength to live as we believe and hope. Grant us this through Christ our Lord.