This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Friday of the First Week of Advent
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As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to him, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him.
They knew something. Advent is the season of great anticipation.
As Christians, we patiently await the coming of our Lord. Will there be much fanfare? Probably not. Will it be well advertised? I don’t think so. Will it be simple? Definitely. Will it be personal? You bet!
The two blind men in today’s Gospel passage must have been mature men. With years of practice they fined tuned their hearing and, most importantly, their awareness of excitement and presence. When they heard the murmuring of people and the shaking of the ground, without doubt they sensed a thrill in the air.
The Lord is the master of surprises. He truly makes a conscientious effort to thwart our plans for Him. He refuses to be hunkered down by our definitions and ideas of Him.
In the Pope’s conversation with Eugenio Scalfari, an atheist and editor of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the Holy Father was asked the question: Is God Catholic? I was delighted by the Pope’s answer: Of course not! “I believe in God, not in a Catholic God; there is no Catholic God. There is God and I believe in Jesus, his incarnation.”
Of course this comment sent shock waves throughout the world, especially the Catholic world, where some conspiracy theorists began to speculate that If God not Catholic, then maybe the Pope isn’t either!
Now, I perfectly understand what the Pope said. God is catholic in the catholic sense of the word; that is, He is Universal. But he isn’t Catholic in the Catholic sense of the word; that is, He isn’t limited to one particular religion. If anything, He is only limited by the Truth: for He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. If anything, His power is not limited only to Catholics and for Catholics, but by love, for He is Love. So the Lord refuses to allow himself to be pinned down in His words of truth and works of mercy and forgiveness. Are your works limited only to people you like or who think alike?
Everyone desires love, even when it is hard to give and accept. Everyone desires truth, even when it is hard to give and accept. Hence, everyone desires God, even when it is hard to give what He wants and accept what He gives. But if you think about it long enough, then it becomes all to clear: Love and Truth – Christ’s greatest attributes – will ultimately unite all mankind to Him and to one another. It will not be rhyme or reason.
The Blind men were given a raw deal. But it didn’t stop them in their tracks. With great anticipation (maybe even more than the ”normal” folks had) they followed Jesus all the way to a home. Can you imagine that! They followed him? What an example! What determination! No wonder the Lord found more love among the poor, the sick and the sinners than among those who complain all day long about the poor, the sick and the sinners. I have no doubt the Lord found more faith among the poor, the sick and the sinners than those who use the poor, the sick and the sinners as poor excuses for their own disbelief.
What a twisted world. Indeed it is: the last shall be first and the first shall be last. There is no rhyme or reason to this!
Advent is all about trying to come out last. From all I have seen and read, coming out last is definitely the best way to prepare for the Lord’s arrival. It takes blind faith. (74)
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