First Week of Advent
Gospel: Mt 9: 27-31
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 them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.
GOD CAN TOUCH US THROUGH POVERTY AS WELL AS THROUGH PLENTY: Today is the memorial of St. Francis Xavier (1506 -1552). He evangelized in India, Malacca, Japan and China. He was born in a princely family of Basque country in Spain. He adopted poverty as a religious. While in Japan he found that poverty was not respected in feudal Japan. He thought poverty was a hindrance to the mission. However, on one occasion, when meeting with a local prince, he dressed himself finely and made his fellow missionaries to wait on him. This improved his reputation with the prince and the prince gave entry for mission. In the Gospel, Jesus reduced Himself to be poor. He treats the blind to raise them from poverty. Poverty, richness, health and illness are a means of mission. Salvation is for the blind, lowly, joyful and sorrowful.
PRAYER: Lord, touch me today. Come to me in any means like health, illness, richness, poverty, joy and sorrow.
STAYING AHEAD OF THE GAME: ‘Have mercy on us’ is a constant prayer of those who know and believe that now God only can do. They want God to act now. May be they have run from pillar to post to get the healing. They entered the house with him, they followed in his steps, were adamant, persistent. When tested, they declared a bold yes. We believe you can heal us. For any miracle to really take place that essential condition ‘faith’ is a must. Jesus ensures that these two felt a crying need and believed. Once, a disciple of a famous sage was jailed on an allegation. The sage said: believe in me, I will bring you back after proving you innocent. But after a month the disciple dug a tunnel under the walls and escaped the prison. He reported at his master’s place. You see, I believed in my ability and here I am in front of you. Today, Christians do believe, believe in the power of God. But they are not ready to risk themselves in His hands. They just think they can play it smart on their own. How many of us will trust our lives in His hands? Jesus challenges us each: “Do you believe I can do this?”
SPEAKING ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE OF GOD: These words are more common in the Gospel of Mark; “Do not tell anyone.” It is referred to as “the Messianic Secrecy.” However, a similar tone is present in the gospel text of today from the Gospel of Matthew. The strange phenomenon, however, is that every time Jesus would tell someone, “Do not tell anyone”, they would just go and speak all the more about what had happened to them in their encounter with Jesus. Why? One who has experienced God in Jesus cannot keep quiet. They need to talk about it. Yes, evangelization is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. It is like the crows of the coastal regions of East Africa, when they find food, they have to cry out calling on their colleagues to come and share. Do we do that about Jesus? If we do not, why not? Is it because we have not really experienced God in Jesus?