wandering within the refuge
“I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly, who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord.” —Zephaniah 3:12
Today’s readings spotlight the word “refuge.” God’s lowly people shall humbly take refuge in the name of the Lord (Zep 3:12). “No one incurs guilt who takes refuge in” the Lord; He “redeems the lives of His servants” (Ps 34:23). To make God our refuge, we also need to obey Him by humbly staying in the refuge and not wandering away from it. A refuge is a place of safe shelter from external dangers. Additionally, a refuge is a place where we are sheltered from anything that would distract us from the Lord Himself.
Jesus says that no one can snatch us out of His protecting hands (Jn 10:28-29). However, once we are secure and safe in His hands, we might stop looking at Jesus and wistfully look back at our former life of sin, on our former so-called “freedom.” We can take our eyes off Jesus (cf Heb 12:2). We can “wander” in our minds within the safe walls of His refuge and long for the pleasures of our former life of slavery. The Israelites did this in the desert, longing to return to the fleeting pleasures of slavery in Egypt (Nm 11:4-6).
Fr. Al Lauer, founder and long-time author of One Bread, One Body, said near the end of his life, “The more I say ‘No’ to myself, the more I say ‘Yes’ to the Holy Spirit.” Say “Yes” to the Lord and “No” to yourself. “Fix your eyes on Jesus” (Heb 3:1). Refuse to look back (Lk 9:62). This Advent, remain in the refuge.
Prayer: Father, each moment, may I gratefully “take refuge in the shadow of Your wings” (Ps 36:8).
Promise: “I will change and purify the lips of the peoples, that they all may call upon the name of the Lord.” —Zep 3:9
Praise: St. Lucy consecrated her virginity to Christ. This offended both the local Roman governor and the young man who wanted to marry her. Soon after, Lucy was tortured and killed for her faith.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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