Friday of the First Week of Advent
Memorial Feast: Saint John Damascene (c.675-+749) Patron Saint of Pharmacists, Icon Painters and Theology Students
Book of the Prophet Isaiah 29:17-24, Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14; Matthew 9:27-31
In today's Gospel narrative, two blind men approached Jesus and begged, "Son of David, have pity on us!" Our Lord entered a house, and in private, touched their eyes and said, "Let it be done for you according to your faith. And their eyes were opened."
Friends, we all carry burdens in our lives. In my experience, I have known many who carry their burdens alone, especially without the support of our faith. I have had many people with heavy burdens seek my counsel. I would ask, "How is your faith helping you?" In many cases, the reply is, "It hasn't, and I've stopped going to church."
Many Christians push God aside when dealing with suffering because we blame God for our sufferings in our hearts. We are troubled and angry and have to blame someone, so we blame God. Sadly when we need God's help the most, we have pushed God aside.
However, we see a different picture of God in Matthew's Gospel. Whenever Jesus encountered suffering, He was moved with pity for the sufferer, and He did what He could to relieve the suffering. In today's passage, it was giving sight to two blind men. They are cured because of their faith.
When we are heavily burdened and go to Jesus in faith, we often experience a new comforting presence and energy to deal with those burdens. We have experienced the grace of our faith.
Only those whose sufferings drive them into Jesus' arms know fully what it means to be saved and loved by Him. Suffering opens spaces in our hearts that only Jesus, Our Savior, and Lord, can fill.
Question of the Day: Will you bring your requests to ease your burdens to Jesus and patiently await His healing presence?
Prayer: Jesus, I believe in Your mercy and goodness. For the sake of this faith, be merciful to me. Amen.