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 4:18-22
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.
A Short Reflection for the First Monday of Advent
As blessed as our world is, it is not always the idyllic place that we would like for it to be. As songwriter Bob Dylan once wrote, “Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.” We should know this from those moments of disappointment and loss that accompany the ones of joy and wonder that take place in our daily lives. And we especially should know this from hearing the cries of those who, in the midst of progress and affluence, suffer for want of care, of dignity, of justice. It was into this struggle between light and darkness that God sent his Son, so that all of us might see what it looks like be a people of light. We see in Jesus’ faith the steadfastness of one who is humble, hope-filled, and righteous. We see in his compassion and mercy the love that must be our life’s work: protecting the innocent, welcoming the stranger, filling the empty, freeing the oppressed. Our salvation does not come because of who we choose to worship, but because of who we choose to be. To fulfill the Gospel, we must ourselves become good news in this world. The time of Advent calls us to acknowledge both the beauty and the pain in all things so that we might gain the wisdom and strength that can come only from knowing both.
Eternal Father, in this holy time of Advent, we look to celebrate when you came to this earth as one of us. You revealed your Word in a humble infant, showing us the power of your presence and the fullness of your love. Your gift to us would inspire us to faith in your promise of shalom, of peace in your perfection. In this Advent, may we grow in this faith as we seek to build the lives to which your Son called us. We make this prayer through Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.