Advent Weekday – Isaiah 48:17-19; Psalm 1; Matthew 11:16-19
When I read the Gospel today I can’t help thinking again about the internet and about social media, especially this time of year, about all the childish voices of the marketplace and all the advertising and all the constant contact. I think of the way the media is obsessed with celebrities, with who is a glutton and drunkard, who is possessed by a demon. Everyone is trying to get us to dance to their flute, and we even try to get Jesus to dance for us, asking him to measure up to our childish images of who God is and then condemning him when he doesn’t.
And it’s not just on the internet but inside us. There are all these childish voices clamoring in our own minds and hearts, we have our own internal internet, and it never stops blowing us around, like the chaff which the wind drives away. Because we are not grounded in our true selves, in the wisdom that comes from God and only from God, we have no focus and no peace.
My question for today is how we can be like the just man in the psalm, like the tree planted near running water. How we can slow down. Stay in one place. Wait.
We have to try to step back and observe ourselves, get some distance on ourselves, and watch the wind blowing. It always will. We can’t stop it. But we can turn and face that, we can admit it, and then we can stop making it worse by not sitting anymore in the company of the insolent and not walking anymore in the way of sinners, and we can create at least a little space in our lives to read the Advent readings and read the Advent booklet the parish has provided, to meditate on the law if just for a few minutes.
We have to try to step back and observe ourselves, get some distance on ourselves, and watch the wind blowing.
Because we can’t yield fruit otherwise. We can’t prosper. We can’t delight. We think all these other things will delight us but they really don’t and we have to be honest with ourselves about that. But the alternative isn’t to be lonely and bored, it’s not to be empty, because when we empty ourselves there is room in us for the Spirit again, there is room for God to fill us, and he will.
Less is more. Silence is good. Even the emptiness is good. Because in that silence and in that space, we can delight in the Lord and the Lord can delight in us, and this delight is true delight, this food is true food.