Advent Reflection – 13 December – Monday of the First week of Advent, Year A – Readings: Isaiah 4:2-6, Psalm 122:1-9, Matthew 8:5-11
“Amen, I say to you, in no-one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven.”
Vatican Council II – “Gaudium et Spes” #45
Constitution on the Church in the Modern World
“While helping the world and receiving many benefits from it, the Church has a single intention – that God’s kingdom may come and that the salvation of the whole human race may come to pass. For every benefit, which the People of God, during its earthly pilgrimage can offer to the human family, stems from the fact, that the Church is “the universal sacrament of salvation”, (Lumen Gentium), simultaneously manifesting and actualising the mystery of God’s love.
For God’s Word, by whom all things were made, was Himself made flesh, so that, as perfect man, He might save all men and sum up all things in Himself. The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the longings of history and of civilisation, the centre of the human race, the joy of every heart and the answer to all its yearnings. He it is, Whom the Father raised from the dead, lifted on high and stationed at His right hand, making Him judge of the living and the dead. Enlivened and united in His Spirit, we journey toward the consummation of human history, one which fully accords with the counsel of God’s love: “To re-establish all things in Christ, both those in the heavens and those on the earth” (Eph. 1:10).
The Lord Himself speaks: “Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me, to render to each one according to his works. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end,” (Rv 22:12-13).”
Christ is the ultimate centre of meaning in the universe. It is through Christ that all people will be led to the Father. How can we hope to achieve a world in which all will seek the path of God? Only when men and women are working to achieve the unity that Christ’s redemption promises us.
“The Lord always goes beyond, goes first. We take one step and He takes ten. Always. The abundance of grace, of His love, of His tenderness that never tires of seeking us. Even, at times, with small things – we think that encountering the Lord would be something magnificent, like that man of Syria, Naaman, who was a leper [did]. And it’s not simple… And he too had a great surprise at God’s way of acting.
And our God is the God of surprises, the God that is seeking us, is awaiting us and asks of us only the little step of good will.”
Pope Francis – Santa Marta, 28 November 2016
Perform an act of kindness for someone you do not know.
Our Lives Multiply by Giving Them Away
Fr Henri Nouwen
“The fruitfulness of our little life, once we recognise it and live it, as the life of the Beloved, is beyond anything we can imagine. One of the greatest acts of faith is to believe that the few years we live on this earth are like a little seed planted in very rich soil. For this seed to bear fruit, it must die. We often see, or feel, only the dying but, the harvest will be abundant, even when we ourselves are the harvesters.
How different would our life be, were we truly able to trust, that it multiplied in being given away?
How different would our life be, if we could believe, that every little act of faithfulness, every gesture of love, every word of forgiveness, every little bit of joy and peace, will multiply and multiply, as long as there are people to receive it … and that – even then – there will be left-overs!”