The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD,
and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
For the tyrant will be no more
and the arrogant will have gone; – Isaiah 29: 19-20
This reading hit me hard today. In my work at the parish, I encounter the lowly and the poor all the time. Tyrants and the arrogant show up too – often in my own behavior I’m afraid.
It is easy to pity the poor and lowly, but the reality, that is something inside of each of us. Money and security may be ours, but are our hearts poor? Are our spirits low? When we see the poor and lowly, in the material sense, it is wise I find, to not feel too good about what I can give them. Nearly 14 years of church work has taught me well that I am called to be united with the lowest, and not in a patronizing posture. Here is the rub – I can say without hesitation that I routinely get more than I give. All. The. Time. This is especially true during Advent when we are called to give in many ways.
As for our own inner arrogant tyrants, we need to be united with them in the sense that we integrate our poor and lowly selves with the haughty one within. Think of a wound that is slow to heal, but eventually the tissue reconnects, and is restored. Our tyrant and our lowly one need to meet and fall in love so that we are whole.
God calls us to be whole an during this Advent season we watch and wait. Let us be attentive to the coming of the Christ child, by creating the best places in our heart. We do that when we cooperate with God in our own healing.
(I am pleased to say that when I googled to find an image to match the Scripture, I came upon a year old Tweet from my online friend, Bishop Jose Luis Gerardo Ponce de Leon, IMC, Bishop of Manzini! You can find his Twitter page here and his blog here.)