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Monday, first week of Advent

November 28, 2011

Blessed Monday!

Keep us alert, we pray, O Lord our God,
as we await the advent of Christ Your Son,
so that, when He comes and knocks,
He may find us watchful in prayer
and exultant in His praise.
Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Readings:
Isaiah 2:1-5 (all nations will serve God & there will be no more war)
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”)

God’s catholic.

He’s universal. He’s for everyone!

So is His Advent (literally, “coming”).

Advent is not just about us, not just for a privileged elite who happen to be “on God’s good side” (for whatever reason).

It’s for everyone–the good and the bad alike–news that’s too good not to share!
And we might just be surprised by the unlikely characters who are actually open to it…

This was one of the hardest truths for the Jewish people to receive
as God prepared them for the coming Messiah.
They are God’s Chosen People, after all (see Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2, 26:18, Romans 11:28).
He’d strictly ordered them not to mix with the pagan nations around them lest they be led astray (see Exodus 23:32, 34:12-16).
And history demonstrated time and again
that when they did come under the influence of their pagan neighbors,
they did fall into idol worship and all the immorality that went with it
(Numbers 25:1-3, Judges, etc.).

But God ultimately had bigger plans.

There would come a day–blessed day!–when the influence would go the other way,
when the power of the Holy Spirit would make holiness more contagious than sin!
There would come a day when all nations would stream toward God’s mountain, saying,

Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that He may instruct in His ways,
and we may walk in His paths
-Isaiah 2:3

There would come a day when God Himself would say of a pagan centurion,
an oppressor of His Chosen People,

I assure you, I have never found this much faith in Israel
-Matthew 8:10

It’s this pagan’s faith that Jesus now puts on our lips
right before we receive Him in Holy Communion:

Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof,
but only say the word and my soul shall be healed
-Invitation to Communion, Roman Missal, Third Edition

God is for everyone–actively.
He’s for us.
He’s for the people we love and admire.
He’s for the people we hate and despise.
None of us are worthy.
All of us need Him.

As baptized Catholics we are now “the house of the God of Jacob,”
His new temple, built of living stones on the foundation of the apostles and prophets
with Christ Jesus as the capstone (Isaiah 2:3, Ephesians 2:20-22, I Peter 2:5).
All sorts of people look to us to be instructed in God’s ways,
that they may walk in His paths.
God has entrusted to us the message they need to hear: the message of His Advent.

It’s not up to us to pick & choose who’s worthy.

God is for everyone.

We need to be too.

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