On September 27, 2015, Pope Francis celebrated a public Mass in Philadelphia to conclude the World Meeting of Families. I had some mixed emotions as I slowly made my way from Jefferson Station to the Ben Franklin Parkway that morning. Certainly I was excited and honored to be part of this momentous occasion, but I was also feeling tired, overwhelmed, and admittedly annoyed at times with the tens of thousands of people crowded around me, all jockeying for a “good spot” and straining to get a glimpse of the Holy Father himself. I closed my eyes and asked God for patience and peace.
As Mass began, suddenly my eyes were opened. I was no longer surrounded by an unfathomably enormous crowd: I was a part of a congregation. I was no longer standing on the Ben Franklin Parkway: I was in a sacred worship space. The concrete, asphalt, and dusty ground had become a church, and all of us gathered that day were one and the same in our search for “the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living” (Ps 27:13). For the first time that day, I could see.
Like the blind men in today’s Gospel, when we cry out to the Lord for pity, he responds with a far greater grace. He opens our spiritual eyes to see what is truly around us. He heals us. In this season of Advent, let us do more than just wait for the Lord. May we grow in our faith, so that our eyes may be opened to see the work of his hands in our midst – right here, right now.
Advent comes from the Latin word, adventus – an arrival or a coming. In the context of the season, Advent means that the Lord is coming. Read more of the Advent introduction...
First Week of Advent
Second Week of Advent
Third Week of Advent
Fourth Week of Advent