Posted by: livingscripture | December 5, 2009

First Saturday of Advent

From the Word of the Day


At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.

                                                     Matthew 9: 36

 How should we live this Word

 Today’s liturgy is woven with consoling words.  We see God bending over human misery to relieve it and promise it a future of joyful recovery.  In today’s Gospel, the crowds were ‘like sheep without a shepherd’.  They wandered without prospects and without a goal.  It was a swatch of humanity very similar to that of today.  After having chased mirages of full realization and experienced their inconsistency, they find themselves deluded and saddened, dragging along in a desert of life without meaning. 

 Jesus feels compassion for them, today as yesterday.  He entrusts us with the task of taking care of them.  What can we do?  He is God but what are we?  We have to take the words of the Gospel seriously.  ‘He gave them authority’.  Yes, we have the authority!  It is not to accomplish spectacular gestures that leave others with ‘their mouth open’.  Rather, it is to do what is less showy by offering a friendly presence that restores dignity to the other person.  We can help others to re-discover the meaning of their life, indicating to them the bright goal toward which they are journeying.  We can tend to their deepest wounds, those of their spirit, pouring out on them the oil of understanding and affection.  We can open their eyes by showing them the horizons that Jesus has put before us.  We can open their ears to hear His Word of life.

 Jesus gives this mandate to us, today’s Christians.  We must not obscure the light that has been placed in our hands.  We cannot allow it to be substituted by the banality of the fake light of a society that has eliminated Christ.  We have the mandate to restore the period of Advent to its authentic meaning as the expectancy that will not delude us because Christ is already in our midst with His healing and redeeming compassion.

 Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will let Jesus’ words question me and spur me to bring a message of joy and salvation to all I meet.

 Lord, make me a credible witness of Your salvation continually offered to humanity.  Help me to overcome the timidity that may make me mute the truth so as not to go against the current.

 The voice of Raoul Follereau, witness

 We need to help the day dawn.

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