Today’s Thoughts: In reading the scriptures for today two thoughts came to mind. First, I have always liked the section from Isaiah which is our first reading today. It carries for me the hopefulness that one day swords, guns, bombs and all other means of violence will be beaten into plowshares, microchips, ovens, stoves, refrigerators, anything useful and life giving. I hope and live for the day when we will no longer train younger women and men for war ever again and that every nation will live in peace! Yes, I know this might be an impossible hope, but I still hope. Perhaps for me Emily Dickinson puts it best – "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune--without the words, and never stops at all!" May hope never stop singing for any of us.
My second thought today centers on the Gospel. It is a familiar story in Matthew's Gospel of the centurion who asks Jesus to heal his servant. Did you ever realize when reading the Gospels that many of the people whom Jesus encounters with life changing faith are not part of the faith community but are seen as outsiders. This centurion has great faith, a faith that ultimately brings healing to his servant. This Gospel story and others like it should remind us that God's presence, God's healing, God's grace, God's work can come from anywhere and from anyone. Dismissing people for any reason is not a good practice because by dismissing them we may just be dismissing God and an opportunity to be healed!
So, as we begin this journey of Advent let us invite God to enter under our roofs even though we might feel unworthy and commit ourselves to renewing the gift of hope in our lives, strengthening our own faith and respecting the gift of others in life so that we never give up on peace or miss a chance to encounter God’s healing presence.
Have a great Monday everyone and a blessed Advent!
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Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...