|Advent Reflections for December 5
Week 1: Wednesday
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. (Matthew 14: 19-20)
During Advent we always consider the past, present, and future dimensions of
Jesus' coming. Jesus came to us at Bethlehem; He is risen and present in the
world today; we look forward to His second coming.
by Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Why must heaven be outside of time? Simply because none of us would want an endless existence on this earth. If it were possible for us to live four hundred years with some kind of vitamin, do you think that we would all swallow them? There would certainly come one moment in our existence when we would want to die. Have you ever been in any one place on this earth that you were absolutely sure would be one in which you would want to spend every day of your life? It is not very likely. The mere extension of time to most of us would probably be a curse instead of a blessing. Then, too, have you ever noticed that your happiest moments have come when eternity almost seems to get inside of your soul? All great inspirations are timeless, and that gives us some suggestion of heaven. Mozart was once asked when he received his inspirations for his great music. He said he saw them all at once in a great heat, a great warmth, a great light. Then there came the succession of notes. So it is in writing a speech. When I prepare a talk, or a telecast, or a book, there comes a moment when the end is seen at the beginning. One cannot write fast enough. There comes to everyone, whether he is good or bad, some dim intimations of immortality such as Wordsworth wrote about. There are, however, men who try to immunize themselves from these thoughts of eternity. They put on a kind of God-proof raincoat, so that the drops of his grace will not get through to them. They shut out eternity.
Source: Through the Year With Archbishop Fulton Sheen. IgnatiusInsight.com
Gospel Reading: Matthew 15:29-37
Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel. Matthew 15:29-37
Jesus came to reshape human society and create a new order in the world - the reign of God. These miraculous healings are signs of what Jesus came to accomplish.
Jesus isn't showing off his power. Nor is he scrambling to go around and heal every sick person in the world. He is preaching through signs that show what the reign of God is like. He is showing us the future and calling us to be part of bringing it about.
Even though we can't perform miracles, we can join in the Lord's work through acts of kindness, forgiveness, peace. These signs change the world (and us) for the better, and help reveal the reign of God..
Christmas is less than three weeks away. There is a spirit of friendship in the air that actually makes it easier to reach out to others. No one would think us strange if out of the blue we "miraculously" touched another person's life with a simple note, a Christmas card, a phone call, a visit, a kind gift, a word asking forgiveness…a word giving forgiveness.
It's in the air, there for the asking.
Spend some quiet time with the Lord.
Multiply your own resources (however great or small) to help the poor. Make a gift of your time or money to a charitable organization that helps the poor.
Lord, may I be generous with others from the richness You have shared with me through Your goodness.
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