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 9:27-31
Jesus As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.
A Short Reflection for the First Friday of Advent
For our Church, the Nativity is seen as a moment of grace for all people, but especially so for a certain people – those who receive the least regard in society. In the Gospel narrative, the first to greet the Christ Child were the anawim – the poor, the afflicted, the invisible. For them, the birth of the Savior brought joy, not just as a gift sent, but mainly as a promise kept. God came to them to say that he had never forgotten them and that he would always be with them. In his Son, he would call the world to turn away from the sinfulness of hard-heartedness and return to the truth of his saving will for all people. The gift of Christmas is the gift of faithfulness. In God’s grace we are given the power to make our world right, to overcome the darkness of fear and ignorance with the light of knowing that even the worst of life cannot defeat us without our consent. The time of Advent is a time for reflecting on the Incarnation as God’s “Yes” to us, and to our journey together as we find our way to his heart of compassion, mercy, and justice.
Eternal Father, every day we find ourselves in need of you. We search for your strength and healing to help us with the hurt or empty places in our lives. Hear us as we call out to you. Let us feel your hand leading us out of our darkness and into your light. And, just as you sent your Son to give to your presence a human touch and voice, may we then take the blessing of your compassion to share with others. We pray that, in this Advent, we will make of ourselves gifts of good news of peace, mercy, and justice. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.