29 November 2021, Monday of the 1st Week of Advent
We are now in the 1st week of Advent and we are invited by the Lord, through the readings, to be prepared for the Lord’s coming. In today’s Gospel reading, the word “come” is mentioned seven times. In verses 5-7, the word “come” (including the words “entered” and “came”) is used in the context of dialogue between Jesus and the centurion. In verses 8-9, the word “come” is used by the centurion to reason out to Jesus his situation, that is, being a Gentile and a person in authority, he could only do as much as he could in order to be of great help to his servant. In verse 11, Jesus used the word “come” to point out that salvation is realized when God gathers all people (from east to west) in the heavenly banquet.
What are the Lord’s invitations for us as we prepare for His coming?
First, let us be persons of dialogue by entering into to a living and loving relationship with the Lord. This is prayer. When we pray, we do not only express what we need for God. We express that we need God. Advent reminds us that when we empty ourselves with things that hinder us to be in union with God, God will come. God can only enter if we let go our favorite sins.
Second, genuine faith is manifested with a humble heart. The centurion is a Gentile and a boss. He could have decided not to intervene the healing of one of his servants. But faith makes him recognize the Jesus is God. In humility, he asks not something for his own good but for the other. Jesus was so amazed not only by the faith but by the humility of the centurion. Faith makes us see God present in others especially those who are in need.
Third, let us be inclusive rather than exclusive for in Jesus, our God is our universal savior. If God is present in our lives, we see others not as lesser beings and not as our competitors, but as our brothers and sisters for they too are children of God. Every time we celebrate the Holy Mass, our coming together makes us experience God’s coming: in the Word, in the Eucharist, in the Presider and in the gathered assembly. For as Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”
Let us not expect that the coming of our Lord Jesus will happen like a spectacular event with much effects. When we pray and let go of our selfish motives, the Lord comes. If our faith is coupled with humility, the Lord comes. When we gather together in His name, the Lord comes.
Isn’t it that what is being proclaimed is actually happening here and now as we celebrate the Holy Mass? Amen.
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