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Reading and meditation on the Word of God on Friday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time, December 1, 2023

Our meditation today has the theme: Picking Up and Making Renewal. Throughout the year we experience the change of natural seasons: hot to cold, cold to hot, autumn to spring, spring to autumn. Liturgically, we are only two days away from welcoming the new liturgical year. The direct effect of this picking-up is that we adapt because we need to be in line with the new season. So we renew our lives.

The Lord Jesus speaks about the coming of God's kingdom, and He encourages us to catch the signs, then be willing to welcome them and ultimately renew ourselves. Even when the signs reveal that what we are picking up is the afterlife, whether we like it or not, we have to pick it up because it is God Himself who comes to pick us up. We need to be ready to receive Him, and our readiness means that we begin renewal and then live in a new way.

In our real life today at various levels of life, the mentality of making plans for any activity is a concrete need. From simple activities such as invitation to dinner at a friend's house to planning for a multinational company or pastoral care for a diocese, life and its activities become smooth and enjoyable if planned. Because if there is no plan, the activities will be chaotic, the most important thing is that you don't know what you will do and you don't have a definite direction to go.

If there is no plan, we will not know what or who we are welcoming, and what kind of adjustments we need to make a self-renewal. Only those who have a plan can experience the beautiful experience of welcoming God and enjoying the joy of being new persons. If God comes to meet us in the Eucharist celebration, for example, our plan to welcome Him should have been made earlier, then the meeting will become a special joy, which will then become a light for self-renewal for the better.

On the other hand, if there is no prior preparation, the meeting at the Eucharist will be a situation of complete deprivation: whether God is felt to be silent and so far away, whether we are carried away by laziness so that we are always sleepy, whether we are only forced to attend the Eucharist because of the influence or pressure of other fellows, whether it's just joining the crowds and taking advantage of a day off.

The God who comes in the celebration of the Eucharist, is the same God who also comes on various other occasions in this life. And the law is universal, namely that He needs to be welcomed because he brings gifts of renewal to our lives.

Let's pray. In the name of the Father... O Almighty Father, may our longing to meet You become our need every day, and not only when we experience difficulties in life. Hail Mary... In the name of the Father...