Friday 8 December 2017

About Today Readings

Advent Season of Creation. Immaculate Conception.

Genesis 3:9-15, 20. Psalm 97(98):1-4. Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12. Luke 1:26-38.

Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvellous deeds — Psalm 97(98):1-4.

‘There is nothing that God cannot do.’

 

In a time, not unlike our own, when many people despaired and faith became hard, Isaiah promises better days when people will live generously and attentively:

‘After shadow and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see. But the lowly will rejoice in the Lord and scoffers vanish, and all be destroyed who are disposed to do evil’.

People who are poor will be lifted up and see what has been hidden by misery. Others will be led to see what has been in front of their noses. We can pray that we may see what we miss both because of our discouragement and because of our fixed opinions.

The Gospel story makes it clear that to be cured of blindness we must want desperately to see and to ask for it. It is a gift from God and not something we can secure for ourselves. The blind men come shouting, and Jesus asks them, ‘Do you believe I can do this?” Then he touched their eyes saying, “Your faith deserves it so let this be done for you.”. Their wholehearted desire for healing and trust is a reproach and encouragement for our more hesitant desires.

The whole of Laudato Si has an urgency that asks us if we really believe. Pope Francis is aware of the apathy, self-interest and blindness that prevents us from seeing the urgency of acting to rescue the world.

‘It must be said that some committed and prayerful Christians, with the excuse of realism and pragmatism, tend to ridicule expressions of concern for the environment. Others are passive; they choose not to change their habits and thus become inconsistent. So what they all need is an “ecological conversion”, whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.’

To us he asks, do you believe that people can be led to see, to act and to be effective? It is a fair question. If we are doubtful, we have much to pray for.

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