1st Week of Advent

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.

Giving thanks can be tricky during the holidays.   It’s hard to feel grateful when we are stressed or lonely or grieving someone we love.   But today’s responsorial psalm (Psalm 118:1) reminds us why we give thanks:   because God is good.   Because he came as a baby two thousand years ago.   Because he comes into our hearts every time we ask.   Because one day, he will come again in his full glory.   This is why we give thanks.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

Everything he does is good.   He never makes a mistake, never forgets a detail, never acts spitefully.   Thank him for that!   He never wakes up in a bad mood or has a bad day.   Thank him for that unfailing goodness.   Thank him for knowing you and thinking of you before you were born.   Give thanks because he has always had nothing but tender love for you.   If you have experienced any goodness or blessing from God, give thanks!

Give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy endures forever.

St. Paul says that Christ died for you while you were still in sin (Romans 5:8).   He didn’t wait for you to pull yourself together or act on new resolutions.   He showered you, and everyone else, with mercy even before you repented.   Thank God for that.   He pardons you again and again.   He never holds your sins against you.   Every time you return to him, he forgives you.   Even if you are disappointed or feel as if a door has closed, you can trust that his mercy will prevail.   Give thanks!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he has been your Savior.

He has saved you—from the eternal consequences of sin and from a futile and faithless life.   He has saved you and made you his child.   He has lavished you with his Holy Spirit, the great Gift who unveils the mystery of Christ to you and who helps you discover him.   Give thanks!

Today and every day, look for signs of God’s goodness and mercy and salvation.   And thank him.   Then watch your heart expand.

“Thank you, Lord, for your many blessings in my life!”

Isaiah 26:1-6
Matthew 7:21, 24-27

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