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Today is the fourth day in our set of meditations inspired by Jesse Tree Advent Tradition.
The concept comes from a passage in Isaiah, where the prophet says, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots” (11:1). Jesse is the father of King David, and Jesus was born into that same line of David through his foster-father’s (Joseph’s) ancestry.
Preparing for Christmas? Consider making a Jesse tree
Each day of December we will offer a brief Scripture passage and reflection, following God’s marvelous plan of salvation in the Jesse Tree tradition.
Some time afterward, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: Do not fear, Abram! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great. But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me, if I die childless and have only a servant of my household, Eliezer of Damascus?” Abram continued, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a servant of my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the Lord came to him: No, that one will not be your heir; your own offspring will be your heir. He took him outside and said: Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can. Just so, he added, will your descendants be. Abram put his faith in the Lord, who attributed it to him as an act of righteousness.(Genesis 15:1-6)
[Abraham] hoped to become the father of many nations, and today he is certainly rejoicing with us because God’s promise is fulfilled down the centuries, from generation to generation.His believing, hoping against hope, was “reckoned to him as righteousness” (Rom 4: 22), not only in his regard, but in view of us all, his descendants in faith. We “believe in him that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord” (Rom 4: 24), put to death for our sins and raised for our justification (cf. Rom 4: 25). Abraham did not know this, but through the obedience of faith he directed his steps towards the fulfilment of all the divine promises, motivated by the hope that they would come to pass. Is there any greater promise than that fulfilled in Christ’s paschal mystery? In the faith of Abraham almighty God truly made an eternal covenant with the human race, and its definitive fulfilment is Jesus Christ. The Only-begotten Son of the Father, one in substance with him, became Man to lead us through the humiliation of the Cross and the glory of the Resurrection into the land of salvation that God, rich in mercy, had promised humanity from the very beginning. (St. John Paul II, Homily, February 23, 2000)
PrayerStir up your power, we pray, O Lord, and come,
that with you to protect us,
we may find rescue
from the pressing dangers of our sins,
and with you to set us free,
we may be found worthy of salvation.
Who live and reign with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
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