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Does God Even See My Offering?

December 27, 2020   Thursday in the Fourth Week of Advent - Mass in the Morning (Lectionary: 200)

Reading 1   2 SM 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16
When King David was settled in his palace,
and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side,
he said to Nathan the prophet,
“Here I am living in a house of cedar,
while the ark of God dwells in a tent!”
Nathan answered the king,
“Go, do whatever you have in mind,
for the LORD is with you.”
But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
“Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD:
Should you build me a house to dwell in?

“‘It was I who took you from the pasture
and from the care of the flock
to be commander of my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you went,
and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.
And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.
I will fix a place for my people Israel;
I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place
without further disturbance.
Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,
since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
I will give you rest from all your enemies.
The LORD also reveals to you
that he will establish a house for you.
And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his Kingdom firm.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your Kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.’”

Responsorial Psalm   PS 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 AND 29
R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.”
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel   LK 1:67-79
Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hand of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

By Patty Breen 

About two years ago, my mom invited my sister and I to join a Living Rosary group with her. Instead of praying the entire Rosary by yourself, you are assigned a particular mystery to pray each day for several months. With all the other members praying together different parts, a full Rosary is prayed daily among the group members. Since I have been a part of this group, each time I receive a new mystery it seems to correspond with what is going on in my life or cares/concerns I have in my heart.

For the last few months, I have been praying with the mystery spoken about in today’s Gospel, the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. You see, there’s a lot I feel like I am presenting to Jesus these days.

My dad is slowly dying of a disease similar to ALS. I had to end a relationship with a man I hoped to share my future with. At 35 years, I am wrestling with the lie/insecurity that Jesus may pass me by when it comes to the desires of my heart for marriage and family.

Life right now for me feels heavy and hard; my faith feels as small as a mustard seed.

Then I remember the small detail in the Gospel, where Joseph and Mary brought a humble, small sacrifice of two turtle doves. For Jewish families fulfilling this religious obligation, a pair of small birds was often only what poor families could afford. The Holy Family brought their little offering to God, but God saw it, blessed it, and used it. God took what they had and He did something with it.

Jesus sees the humble, small offering I bring. He sees when it may feel I have run out faith or hope. He takes the little you and I bring, blesses it, and uses it for our good.

What heavy burden or suffering are you carrying in life right now?

Can you offer it to Jesus, just like that humble offering of two turtle doves?

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, please help me. Accept my little offering, bless it, and use it for my good.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Patty Breen has been working in parish ministry for over ten years and is a writer for Blessed is She. A Midwestern girl from the Mitten state, Patty finds joy in running, strong cups of coffee, Ignatian spirituality, and is mildly obsessed with Thomas Merton. She is passionate about messy conversations at the intersection of faith, culture, and ministry. Her passions in ministry include ministry to divorced Catholics and women whose relationships have been impacted by sexual addiction. You can find her writing online at America Magazine, CatholicMatch, Grotto Network, and Verily. Find her blogging and gramming about life while learning to find grace in all things.

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