Advent 2014

First Saturday in Advent - December 7th

Is 30: 19-26 / Ps 147: 1-6 / Mt 9: 35 / 10: 1, 6-8

The readings today provide a reflection on woundedness and healing. In Isaiah we read that the people of Zion were told to weep no more and that God hears our cries and answers them.

In Matthew, we find a narrative on miracles that Jesus performed and then gave the disciples the authority to continue his work of curing and healing people. Some people see miracles as the suspension of the natural order. Albert Nolan, O.P. claims “a miracle then is an act of God which in its power and unusualness causes us to wonder and marvel. As such it can be called, and in the Bible is often called, a sign – a sign of God’s will to save and liberate.”

Repeatedly we see Jesus’ reluctance to perform miracles, especially when taunted by others to prove His powers through them. What we witness in the actions of Jesus with regard to the stories of those who were healed is that Jesus was moved to compassion by their suffering and faith. It seems that the curing and healings performed by Jesus were not so much acts of power as much as acts of compassion. Jesus teaches the disciples to encourage faith and trust in the presence of God and continue his work of healing and curing those around them as signs of God’s continued presence and activity in this world.

Advent is a time of waiting, a time of reflection and anticipation. The fulfillment of the hope and longing we have for God’s presence in the world to be made manifest is a reminder that God has chosen us to continue God's work of compassion for those in greatest need. We are called to soften our hearts and pay more attention to those in need in our families and colleagues and to respond actively with faith in the healing powers of God. This Advent let us renew our commitment to be present to all who knock at the inn. This is the Good News Jesus came to share with us and asks us to continue his work throughout the year. 

Barbara Wall
Mission and Ministry