Advent Reflection – – 6 December – Friday of the First week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 29:17-24,Psalms 27:1, 4, 13-14,Matthew 9:27-31 and the Memorial of St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church
Let us adore the Lord, the King who is to come.
When he entered the house, the blind men came to him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. … Matthew 9:28-30
REFLECTION – “O Lord, You led me from my father’s loins and formed me in my mother’s womb. You brought me, a naked babe, into the light of day, for nature’s laws always obey Your commands.
By the blessing of the Holy Spirit, You prepared my creation and my existence, not because man willed it or flesh desired it but by Your ineffable grace. The birth You prepared for me was such, that it surpassed the laws of our nature. You sent me forth into the light by adopting me as Your son and You enrolled me among the children of Your holy and spotless Church.
You nursed me with the spiritual milk of Your divine utterances. You kept me alive with the solid food of the body of Jesus Christ, Your only-begotten Son for our redemption. And He undertook the task willingly and did not shrink from it. Indeed, He applied Himself to it as though destined for sacrifice, like an innocent lamb. Although He was God, He became man and in his human will, became obedient to You, God His Father, unto death, even death on a cross.
In this way You have humbled Yourself, Christ my God, so that You might carry me, Your stray sheep, on Your shoulders. You let me graze in green pastures, refreshing me with the waters of orthodox teaching at the hands of Your shepherds. You pastured these shepherds and now, they in turn tend Your chosen and special flock. Now You have called me, Lord, by the hand of Your bishop to minister to Your people. I do not know why You have done so, for You alone know that. Lord, lighten the heavy burden of the sins through which I have seriously transgressed. Purify my mind and heart. Like a shining lamp, lead me along the straight path. When I open my mouth, tell me what I should say. By the fiery tongue of Your Spirit make my own tongue ready. Stay with me always and keep me in Your sight.
Lead me to pastures, Lord and graze there with me. Do not let my heart lean either to the right or to the left but let Your good Spirit guide me along the straight path. Whatever I do, let it be in accordance with Your will, now until the end.
And you, O Church, are a most excellent assembly, the noble summit of perfect purity, whose assistance comes from God. You in whom God lives, receive from us an exposition of the faith that is free from error, to strengthen the Church, just as our Fathers handed it down to us.” – From The Statement of Faith by St John Damascene, Priest – “You have called me, Lord, to minister to Your people”
PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people who come to You in confidence. Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You. Give courage to those who falter because of their failures. In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in faith and hope, by the power of your Holy Spirit. May they proclaim Your saving acts of kindness here on earth and one day, in Your eternal kingdom and may the prayers of St John Damascene bring us light and strength. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.