Advent Reflection – 3 December – Thursday of the First week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 26:1-6,Psalms 118:1 and 8-9, 19-21, 25-27, Matthew 7:21, 24-27 and The Memorial of St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)
Show forth Your power Lord and come.
Come in Your great strength and save us.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat on that house but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” … Matthew 7:24-25
REFLECTION – “The just, (that is to say those who in baptism have put on the new man created in justice) live, insofar as they are just, by faith, by the light that the sacrament of illumination brings to them. The more they live by faith, the more they realise in themselves, the perfection of His divine adoption. Notice this expression carefully: ‘EX fide,’ the exact meaning of this is that faith ought to be the root of all our actions, of all our life. There are souls who live with faith (CUM fide). They have faith and one cannot deny that they practise it. But it is only on certain occasions … that they remember their faith to any purpose. …
But when faith is living, strong, ardent, when we live by faith, that is to say, when in everything, we are actuated by the principles of faith, when faith is the root of all our actions, the inward principle of all our activity, then we become strong and steadfast, in spite of difficulties within and without, in spite of obscurities, contradictions and temptations. Why so? Because, by faith, we judge, we estimate all things as God sees and estimates them – we participate in the divine immutability and stability.
Is not this what our Lord said? “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them” – that is to live by faith – “will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse.” For Jesus Christ immediately adds: “it had been set solidly on rock” (Mt 7:24-25).” … Bl Columba Marmion (1858-1923) Abbot – Our Faith, the Victory over the World (Christ, the Ideal of the Monk)
PRAYER – God our Father, You open the gates of the kingdom of heaven to those who are born again of water and the Holy Spirit. Increase the grace You have given, so that the people who have been purified from all sin, may not forfeit the promised blessing of Your love. Grant that we may ever keep Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, before our eyes and do all in Him and through Him and for Him. And may the prayers of Your great missioner, St Francis Xavier, he who lived Your words, strengthen our faith.