Intention: That the start of this Advent will herald for us a time of prayer and conversion as we return our hearts and our lives to the work of building God’s Kingdom of peace, justice, and love.
Today’s Gospel | Matthew 8:5-11
When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.”
A Reflection for the First Monday of Advent
As blessed as our world is, it is in many ways a broken place. We know this through the cries of those who are living in want, fear, oppression, and desperation. It was to answer their cries that God sent his Son, that all people might know both the comfort of divine presence and compassion and the healing of divine love and mercy. And it was to being instruments of these graces that Jesus then would call all of us. His coming was meant to teach us that the world’s wholeness will come when we ourselves embrace the innocent, welcome the stranger, feed the hungry, stand with the outcast. The time of Advent is a time for pondering the path of God’s saving grace through the misery of injustice as it leads into our own minds, hands, and hearts.
Prayer for the Day
Eternal Father, we may not always see the stars when we look up at the sky, but they are there. It is the same with your presence. Help us to understand that you always are with us and at work in our midst. Though our world may sometimes seem on the verge of death, through your gift of faith we will see your saving light of life. As this Advent begins, may we seek your Son’s coming as he cuts through all darkness and invites us into your loving presence. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.