Monday of the Second Week

Readings

Is 35:1-10
Ps 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14
Lk 5:17-26

Reflection

After reading Isaiah, it reminded me of the significance of the Christmas season as a time to replenish ourselves after whatever we may have lost or lacked throughout the year.  To me, the word "desert" stood out as a representation of our complacency with life and faith.  We either get too comfortable with everyday routine in order to feel safe or get so overwhelmed with trying to do everything ourselves in order appear self-sufficient.  At times, I find that even more true with the social media culture of us portraying an image of what we think society would approve of.  We try to transform ourselves into something we are not rather than portraying who we truly are as a child of God. 
 
This season is the time to reevaluate what has left us parched in our metaphoric desert.  But we can't start to reevaluate ourselves without letting God in.  By opening our hearts to God through prayer and community, He inspires us on what truly matters.  We start to focus on how we feel rather than how we look; how your presence can mean more to someone rather than presents; how we should focus on savoring the special moments rather than capturing them.
 
This lesson has been especially true this past year as my fiancé and I prepare for marriage.  Within the first six months of our engagement, we bought a house and experienced a traumatic family event.  It certainly has been an emotional roller coaster with planning a wedding, working on our house, taking care of our family.  For a while, I found myself lost and overwhelmed until I let God in to help me in our distress.  However taxing these last few months have been, I have never felt God's love as much as I do now.  It has been the greatest lesson in faith and love.  It has taught us to appreciate the moments we have with one another, be grateful for what we have, and learn patience for the hard times ahead.
 
This Christmas let us bring God into our hearts.  It is then we begin to see the wonderful gifts He offers us and witness how much He can provide in our greatest time of need.  "The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water" and our desert "will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song." 
 
Crystal Peterson, '10
Assistant Director of Marketing
USD Alumni Relations