My Cup Overfloweth
An Advent reflection from parishioner Charles Burre
In Saturday’s blog, Fran spoke of the transition from Thanksgiving to the waiting season of Advent, yet today’s readings are overflowing with reasons to continue to give thanks. Isaiah tells us that the Lord will provide “for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines.” Not only will He supply our material needs, He will remove those things the threaten or confuse us (“the web that is woven over all nations”) and those things that cause us sadness or grief. And finally, the ultimate reason to rejoice, that to which Advent is pointing, “let us rejoice and be glad that He has saved us.”
Psalm 23 is frequently invoked in times of turmoil or grief, yet it too is mostly about thanksgiving. Our cups overflow with all that we need: green pastures, still waters, right paths, comfort, protection, and an abundance goodness and mercy throughout our lives. The Psalm also ends with the assurance that we will remain in the Lord’s presence forever.
Thanksgiving has never been far from my thoughts at this time in my life. We had a joyful Thanksgiving with two of our children, their spouses, and two beautiful granddaughters. The month of November began with the birth of our sixth grandchild and first grandson. Over the years the material needs of our family have been taken care of, often in unanticipated ways. God has guided us to good doctors and nurses when healing was needed. This was especially true for me this past year. Most importantly, He has led me on the right paths, which brought me to St. Edward’s, and surrounded me with many Christian friends.
In Matthew’s gospel we see in Jesus what is foretold in the first two readings as He feeds and heals all those who come to Him. The salvation story will unfold as we journey through the gospel and the liturgical year. It is the fulfillment of this ultimate promise that gives Advent and Christmas the joy that is proclaimed in so many beautiful ways at this time of year. Let us not forget the reason for this joy. May we continue to live our lives with joyful hearts that are overflowing with thanksgiving.