Friday of the First Week of Advent
Memorial Feast: Saint Francis Xavier (1506-+1552)—Patron Saint of Roman Catholic Missions
Isaiah 29:17-24, Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14, & Matthew 9:27-31
In today's short Gospel narrative, we hear about two blind men begging Jesus to heal them. They ask, "Son of David, have pity on us." Our Lord moved with mercy, responded, "Let it be done for you according to your faith."
We all carry heavy burdens. In my experience, I have seen many carry their loads alone, without the support of faith. Recently a heavily tormented person sought my counsel. "How is your faith helping you?" I asked. "It hasn't. I've stopped going to church," was the response I received.
Many Christians push God aside when dealing with suffering because we blame God for our sufferings deep in our hearts. We are troubled and angry and must blame someone, so we blame God. Sadly, when we need God's help the most, we have pushed Him aside.
However, there is a different picture in today's Gospel narrative. Whenever Jesus encounters suffering, He is moved with pity for the sufferer, and He does what He can to relive the misery, as He did for the two blind men.
When we take our heavy burden and go to Jesus in faith, we often experience a new comforting presence and new energy to deal with our troubles. Then, we will experience the grace of our salvation anew. Our burdens are lighter; we are no longer alone; He is with us.
Only those whose sufferings drive them into Jesus' loving arms know full well what it means to be saved and loved by our Risen Lord. Suffering opens spaces in our hearts that only Jesus can fill.
Question of the Day: When your are suffering, in what ways do you take your burdens to Him and ask for His Divine assistance?
Prayer: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?" (Psalm 27)