Intention: That all people will embrace the story of the birth of the Christ Child as a call to increase our attention to the needs of children throughout the world.
Today’s Gospel | Luke 5:17-26
One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set
Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, “What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, “We have seen incredible things today.”
A Reflection for the Second Monday of Advent
The saga of humanity’s relationship with God is filled with moments in which God leads his people through trials and loss and on to peace and restoration. For the casual observer, it might seem to be an almost comic tale about a people so inept that they cannot manage to keep themselves out of situations from which they constantly need rescuing. In some ways, it is. However, while the events of this life can often be random or confused, its meaning and purpose never are. We belong to a God who broke into our time and space and showed us how near to us he truly is, and how near we are able to draw ourselves to him. Matt Chandler wrote, “Without a heart transformed by the grace of Christ, we just continue to manage external and internal darkness.” We were made by grace for grace. The time of Advent is a time to remember how to follow where God’s light and love lead us, and to find the salvation that awaits.
Eternal Father, our world is filled with goodness, but there still are temptations and false paths that draw us away from you. Even when we are surrounded by the people and things we know, we still can be lost. But you are watching our every step, ready to search for us and bring us back. Lead us every day to where we are meant to be. Open our eyes and hearts so that we will be caring and vigilant toward one another, especially those who are most in need of companionship and attention. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.