First Sunday of Advent – Sunday, November 27
We are beginning the season of Advent, the time for preparing for His advent, the coming of the Lord. How can we make this advent special? In its day, the Titanic was the world’s largest ship, and it was considered unsinkable. Yet late during the night of April 14-15, 1912, the great Titanic struck an iceberg. It sank in two and a half hours killing 1,513 people. Why did so many die that night? Perhaps the crew disregarded the danger of the weather; there were not enough lifeboats on board; and the radio operator of nearby California was off duty; perhaps those responsible did not heed the warnings! Sometimes we believe that our ‘ship’ is unsinkable, our life is all well planned, and the unthinkable can never happen to us. In today’s Gospel Jesus using the same apocalyptic language when he speaks of his return in glory. “There will be signs in the heavens and on earth distress and confusion.” The season of Advent is an open invitation to live our life with a yearning to meet Christ at his second coming. This would mean readiness to face all sorts of painful and disappointing realities of life with unshakable hope in the ‘beyond’ – His second coming. If we believe in Christ we will have inexhaustible energy to live in Christ even in the face of frustrating situations and it will help us to hope against hope.
Monday, November 28
The Centurion declares himself unworthy even to entertain Jesus in his house. The Centurion says, “I am not worthy”. This means that he considers Jesus a highly superior person. Today’s gospel is a mirror of our faith: “Lord, I am not worthy, but only say the word and soul shall be healed”. Divinity and humanity get bridged by faith. It is our faith that makes us reach out to Jesus.
Tuesday, November 29
The seventy-two disciples that Jesus had sent out to prepare the way for Him return full of joy. Here we witness the birth of new community of those who – transformed by the Word of God – prepare the way for the Master and live moments of communion and hope. Jesus also rejoices for each of us when we realize that we are called to bear witness to Him in simplicity.
Wednesday, November 30
The Gospel passage of Matthew presents to us the vocation story of the first four disciples. Jesus challenges, and they drop everything to follow him. They follow Jesus in complete trust, unaware of where he is leading them. What is important is our inner disposition and attitude to surrender totally Him.
Thursday, December 1
The foundation of a solid Christian life is doing the will of God. Such a person is wise and lives according to the gospel values of love, freedom, peace and compassion. On the other hand, the one who fails to carry out God’s will build his life on a weak foundation of worldly values and is sure to perish when faced with tribulations of life.
Friday, December 2
In today’s gospel two blind men approach Jesus to be healed of their blindness. Despite their physical blindness, they believe that Jesus has the power to heal them. How strong is my faith in Jesus, who is able to bring me healing from all that blinds me and binds me?
Saturday, December 3
The great missionary, St. Francis Xavier, had a firsthand experience of the stark reality that, “the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few”. Armed with his faith, trust in divine providence and zeal of souls, he proclaimed the good news to hundreds of thousands of people in the Eastern nations. Am I willing, like the disciples and St. Francis Xavier, to be sent out to be an evangelizer and proclaim the good news?