Saturday of the First Week of Advent
Memorial Feast: Saint John Damascene (c.675-+749)—Patron Saint of Pharmacists, Icon Painters, and Theology Students
Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26, Psalm 147:1-6, & Matthew 9:35-10:1, 6-8
Szymon Czechowicz's 'Christ and the eleven disciples' (circa 1758)
Don't you love Advent? It's such a happy time in the Church year. I believe Advent is the most cheerful time of year as we await the birth of our Savior. A time when the world will change forever.
In our first reading from the Prophet Isaiah, God is promising salvation to His people. He is promising them physical salvation in terms of food and drink, but more than that, He assures their prayers would be heard and that their direction would be made clear. As Advent progresses, those professions become manifest. As we prepare now, making straight a pathway for God's covenants in Isaiah to become flesh. God promises physical benefit and the direction for spiritual gift, which will come to pass in the person of Jesus, the Christ.
In Matthew's Gospel narrative, Jesus goes beyond that. He is the answer to the promise from our first reading. He then gives us each other as well. The Lord Jesus is the Way that is promised us. He is the Savior who is promised to us. However, here in Mathew, He sees so many people suffering. People who are sick and in need both physical and spiritual healing. He sees people in need of guidance. The best way for Him to help everyone is to have us help each other. He tells His friends to heal the sick. He says that there are many in need and few who are helping. It is our mission to answer the call of Jesus.
Friends, this Advent, we should all be accepting the promises given us from the Prophet Isaiah. God has secured our direction. Jesus is given to us; like the disciples who healed the sick, we can all follow in their footsteps.
Question of the Day: During Advent, how do you pause and invite Jesus into your life?
Prayer: "Blessed are all who wait for the Lord." Amen.