The Catholic Calendar for Monday, December 7, 2009
Monday of the Second Week of Advent
St. Ambrose, bishop and doctor of the Church

Scripture from today’s Liturgy of the Word:
Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14
Luke 5:17-26

A reflection on today’s Sacred Scripture:

We have seen incredible things today. (Luke 5:26)

The power Jesus received from His Father in Heaven to forgive sins on earth is certainly at the core of today’s Gospel. But the power of faith also teaches that the bigger our faith, the better a friend we make! When the paralyzed man’s unwavering friends couldn’t get him in front of Jesus because the stretcher was too unwieldy to bring through the crowd, they carried him up to the roof and lowered him through the roof tiles into the middle of the crowd right in front of Jesus! What a struggle that must have been! While this act of love isn’t as astonishing as Jesus healing the man, we must ask ourselves – would we go that far for one of our friends?

The Gospels play an extraordinary role for us during Advent, a special time of its own for miracles, when we see more clearly the hearts of adults acting like children as they give extra effort toward a kind deed or warm words. It’s a time for caring and loving, and for counting our blessings for the faith and unconditional love we receive from others.

Sometimes when we need them most, our friends seem to be turning away. But we can be assured they’re actively learning the same lessons we are, just not at the same time. Today they might not have the capacity to help a friend in need, but tomorrow, or even a year from now, we may find them at our side, acting on God’s grace. And so it is with us. Then we should try to remember that friendship works both ways, and hopefully we’ll discover that our friend was always a friend, and that growing in faith brings greater love, which helps us to see incredible things.

~ Elizabeth A. Tichvon | etichvon@comcast.net

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