December 02, 2019 (Monday of the First week of Advent)
Many will come
Dear friends in Christ, God calls us to himself. This call is not limited to a particular people or race though it begins from somewhere. All those who accept the call are invited to become a people of God united in Christ. It is a unity that goes beyond every other form of affiliation.
In our first reading today (Isaiah 4:2-6) God promises to purify the entire people by removing what is filthy. The survivors will eat the fruit of the land with pride. Jerusalem is presented like a woman who will undergo purification by the means of exile and the experience of suffering. “Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over the assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shinning of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy and a pavilion.” In this passage, Isaiah employs the imagery of the Exodus to describe what God is willing to accomplish for his people. In the Exodus, God was the shield over his people to provide them a canopy of cloud by day, to save them from the scorching heat and light by night, to see their way. This will become the model of the salvation of the nations.
In the Gospel (Matthew 8:5-11), we see the encounter of Jesus and the Centurion in Capernaum. Not minding his position, he came to Jesus to plead for help, “Lord, my servant is lying paralysed at home, in terrible distress.” Jesus was willing to go down to his house to heal that servant, but the Centurion demonstrated even a greater faith, something that would have surprised anyone at the time. He said to Jesus, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. But only say the word, and my servant will be healed.” This non-Jew demonstrating such faith in Jesus, is a figure of all the nations who would make their way to God, not because of the Temple in Jerusalem but because of the ministry and mission of Jesus and his followers. Far beyond each one’s race and culture, a firm believe and trust in Jesus, is the true path to salvation. To the faith of the Centurion Jesus says, “Truly I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” Today, from almost all the nations upon the earth, we have people who have attached themselves to Jesus and his teachings. Examine how strong your faith is in him.
Let us pray: Help us Lord in our Advent journey, to walk the path of hope, peace and holiness. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.