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Monday, first week of Advent

December 1, 2008

Blessed Monday!

Lord our God, help us to prepare for the coming of Christ Your Son.
May He find us waiting, eager in joyful prayer.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever. Amen.

Readings:
Isaiah 4:2-6 (once God purifies Jerusalem, He will be her shelter and protection)
Psalm 122:1-9 “I rejoiced when I heard them say: let us go to the house of the Lord”
+Matthew 8:5-11 (“I am not worthy to have You under my roof”)

These readings are chock-full of Sacraments! And rightly so. As we anticipate the celebration of God taking on flesh so that we might touch and hear and see Him, He draws our attention to the fact that He still comes to us through our senses.

“The Lord washes away the filth of the daughters of Zion” (Is 4:4) through the cleansing waters of Baptism, the purifying words of absolution, and the soothing oil of the Anointing of the Sick, that we who are “marked down for life in Jerusalem” may be holy (Is 4:3). In both Baptism and Confirmation we receive an indelible mark, a sacramental seal that can never be removed from our souls. Reference to Confirmation can also be seen in the “light of flaming fire” the Lord creates over Mount Zion (Is 4:5). And the Centurion’s words should sound very familiar. We pray them before we receive Jesus in Holy Communion: “Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be healed”.

Advent forcibly brings home the fact that we are living in the “now and the not yet”. We await Christ’s coming at Christmas, yet we may see, touch and even taste His Presence in the Sacraments every day during this period of preparation. We await His coming again at the end of time, but He is right here with us at this very moment. Now we see Him as through a glass darkly; but then face to face. Now we know in part; but then we shall know even as we are known (see I Corinthians 13:12).

May we greet Christ as joyfully and as reverently in the Sacraments now as we hope to greet Him one day in the splendor of Heaven.

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