My rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my stronghold! These are all words that are used to describe God’s influence in human life. When we are healthy, prosperous, self-confident, even simply young, calling the Lord our rock may seem interesting but hardly relevant. We’re more likely to think of ourselves as self-reliant and confident. In such periods it is easy to forget how radical our dependence on God is, even though we may actually pray it in words.
To genuinely know what it means to call the Lord our rock often requires the experience of feeling no firm ground beneath us, of having nothing sure to hold on to. Spiritual and emotional experiences that are the equivalent of an earthquake really teach us how fragile and shaky we are. How unstable are the world and the persons and things in which we’ve put so much trust! The people of the Bible learned early to think of God as their rock, the one who is always there, firm, unshakable, dependable, a sure support. In Isaiah today we hear their faith expressed: “Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock.
Jesus sends the same message in the Gospel today. Those who cling to his word and try to put it into practice are building their lives on a rock. Jesus is the Word of God made human, our sure and firm foundation!
Advent calls us once again to learn or relearn that there is no absolute security for us anywhere but in God and God’s word. For those of us who can spend time every day or often at Mass, this is an oasis of quiet in this frenzied season where we can once again learn that God is our rock and our redeemer.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator