Posted by: livingscripture | December 14, 2015

Third Monday of Advent

From the Word of the Day

“When Balaam raised his eyes and saw Israel encamped, tribe by tribe, the spirit of God came upon him, and he gave voice to his oracle:  The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor, the utterance of a man whose eye is true, the utterance of one who hears what God says, and knows what the Most High knows, of one who sees what the almighty sees, enraptured, and with eyes unveiled.  How goodly are your tents, O Jacob; your encampments, O Israel!  They are like gardens beside a stream, like the cedars planted by the Lord.”     

(Numbers 24: 2-6)

temple watersHow should we live this Word

 Balaam is not an Israelite.  He is a pagan seer hired by Balak, king of Moab, a bitter enemy of Israel.  He had not been successful in conquering the people of God with arms and now he thinks he can do so with the pagan magician, that the dark powers can win Israel.  Thus, he wants the pagan to curse the Israelites.

But not even these powers are docile nor can they be easily manipulated.  This episode of the Book of Numbers merits being read in its entirety.

We find in it, alongside the narration of the event that is so surprising, an intelligent humor and a sacrosanct truth:  it is not those who have power and money who juggle the fate of humanity, but God.  He leaves us free to make our choices, whether they are just or unjust.  But when He deems it good, He uses even that which is unthinkable and unforeseeable to give a twist to history.

Here, even the brays of the donkey of the seer Balaam enter into a radiant plan: that of forcing the seer to bless rather than curse the tents of the Israelites.

In my pause for silent contemplation, I shall renew my trust in God’s infinite wisdom that guides history, both mine and that of the world.

Lord, you have created me to bless.  I will be joyful if I live this important aspect in my heart always.  Bless me today and always so that I may live the joy of blessing everyone.

 The Voice of St. John of the Cross

 If you really want to reach to everything, you must avoid the avidity to possess.

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