Will of God

ADVENT YEAR A – Week 01 01

Walking in the Ways of the Lord

(Is 4:2-6; Ps 122; Mt 8:5-13)


Walk a new path is the title of a book I wrote on addictions awareness and the 12 Step program.

It connects with the message from Isaiah today, encouraging us to go up to the mountain of the Lord, that God may teach us his ways and that we may walk in God’s paths.

What does it take to walk in God’s path? A first essential would have to be faith like that of the centurion whose faith in Jesus was so strong that he did not insist the Jesus come to his home. Jesus’ response was to exclaim that nowhere in Israel had he found such faith.

A second element would have to be study – of scripture, of patristics, and of church teaching. If we are to allow God to teach us God’s ways, then we have to be open to learning those ways. It is interesting that the Cursillo movement has Study as one of its key components. Reading, pondering and praying with scripture is especially to be encouraged if we are to walk in God’s ways.

It also stands to reason that one would make every effort to do the will of God, as a way to walk in God’s path. That would mean above all to try to keep and live the commandments that Jesus taught us: to love God with our whole being, to love others as we love ourselves, to love one another as Jesus has loved us, and finally, to even love our enemies by forgiving them from the heart.

There are many consequences, or fruits, of such faith in action. A first that flows from the readings today is healing and transformation. The centurion’s servant was healed through the faith of the centurion. Isaiah mentions transformation – swords will be turned into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks. Our faith in Jesus leads naturally into healing and transformation.

We all have swords in our lives that we use to hurt others – short tempers, moodiness, holding grudges, being quick to judge or condemn, etc. The Lord wants to take those biting words and teach us how to speak with compassion and understanding. He wants to take our anger and transform it into mercy. He wants to help us take steps toward making peace in our relationships. Through forgiveness of our sinful actions, and healing of our painful emotions, negative attitudes and addictions, Jesus will slowly transform our weapons of war into instruments of peace.

Peace and serenity is another fruit of faithfully walking in the paths of the Lord. When our faith renders us more patient, compassionate, understanding and forgiving, serenity can reign in our hearts. Giselle, my late cousin’s daughter, is a good example of that. Her calmness and peacefulness is striking. When her non-believing husband with no religious affiliation was going through a mid-life crisis, he wanted what his wife and daughter had – that calm and peaceful manner. He decided to go through the RCIA, was received into the Church, and now is fully involved in the Knights of Columbus.

The readings stress that joy and gratitude will be ours as well. “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord,” is our psalm refrain. Gladness and gratitude go hand in hand, and will characterize anyone who walks in the paths of the Lord.

The Eucharist is our family meal in the house of the Lord here on earth that anticipates the eternal banquet that we will enjoy one day.


So, let us take to heart the wisdom of today’s readings – place our complete faith in Jesus, and walk in his transformative ways with peace and joy in our hearts.

Updated: November 28, 2022 — 6:47 am

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