Monday, December 03, 2012

In the Light of the Lord

In the Light of the Lord

December 3, 2012
Memorial of St. Francis Xavier, Priest
"Come, let us climb the Lord's mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths."  Isaiah 2:3b
When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully."  He said to him, "I will come and cure him."  The centurion said in reply, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.  Matthew 8:5-8


The invitation of Advent brings with it the contradictions of the calendar.  As the days grow shorter and darker, we are beckoned to walk in the light of the Lord.  That is light we might not always see no matter how sharp our eyesight might be.  Let us accept the invitation that is upon us whether we can (yet) see the light.


Today, we have two invitations -- one is wide open and the other is humble, simple and appears to get closed almost as soon as it is issued. One is the Lord's invitation to us.  The other is our invitation to the Lord.
Isaiah opens wide the door to Advent as the season begins imploring us to learn the paths of the Lord and walk in them.  That light shines very differently than the light of  culture -- ancient or modern.  Isaiah instructs us that the light of the Lord reveals a different world.  This is a world in which the people "beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again."
Matthew then tells us the story of the Roman soldier who approached and encountered Jesus in Capernaum.  This man asks for a miracle -- not for himself but for his servant.  When Jesus accepts the invitation to minister to him, the soldier backs off.  He wants help but he does not want Jesus to enter his humble house.  Jesus enters anyway -- even if he does not do so physically.


How like the centurion are we?  We want to encounter Jesus...just not too closely.  Maybe we are afraid of people accusing of being "holier than thou."  Yet, Jesus does not hold anything back.  No matter who approaches Him, he grants their wish.  The paralyzed.  The blind.  The leper.  The soldier.  The tax collector.  The prostitute. 

Are you ready to accept the invitation of Advent?

Are you ready to invite the Lord under your roof?

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