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  Advent Wreath

Year of Faith: Advent


December 7, 2012
Edward Hastings
Scholar in Residence: Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development

Isaiah 29:17-24
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
Matthew  9:27-31


Today’s readings speak about coming to see, to recognize, to be aware of the great works that God does on our behalf. The first reading from Isaiah the prophet says, “The eyes of the blind shall see” (29:18). The Responsorial, Psalm 27, affirms, “I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living” (v. 13). The Gospel tells us of Jesus’ curing the sight of the blind men. It is seeing things in God’s light that allows us to recognize the consistency, the goodness, the faithfulness of God. Each of us needs to be taught by God how to see and then to remember.

One scripture scholar says that the message of the whole Bible can be whittled down to one line: God makes promises to us and then God fulfills those promises in God’s time. The problem is that God does not work on our time and we have trouble recognizing the Promises when they are fulfilled.

The opposite of faith is not doubt, as we usually think, but fear. We start fearing that the promises will not be fulfilled; we start mumbling to ourselves and others that God will not come through, that God has abandoned us, that things are getting too hard, that God has forgotten us.

The Gospel or “good news” is that the disappointment will be fulfilled, the loss will turn to a win, the failure changed to triumph, the embarrassment will be gotten over, the relationship gotten through. These are God’s ways, not ours.

We challenge God, however, with our negativity, judgments and criticisms. Richard Rohr says it is very difficult for us not to be negative, at least once every three minutes (Rohr & Keating, 2002). If you pay attention to that, I think you will find that this is true. It does not have to be though. The readings of Advent challenge us to be positive, to be surprised by God’s goodness.

Rohr, R. & Keating, T. (2002).  Healing our violence.  Franciscan Media.


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