Preparing for Advent

Luke 18: 35-43
1Mc 1:10-15,41-43,54-57,62-63 / Psa 119

‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He replied, ‘Lord, I want to see.’
(Luke 18:41)

Cry to Jesus in our darkness,
He will lead us back to the light;
Our sins keep us blind & helpless,
But His Word will restore our sight.

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, I want to see.” Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. (Luke 18:35-43)

Reflection

God is our last recourse, our final healing, the Ultimate Solution. But our chances of being freed from our affliction or guaranteed of our soul’s salvation can pass us by if we do not take the initiative, or if we harbor any doubts about God’s loving mercy. We have to stand up and proclaim our faith, like that blind man of Jericho, who patiently waited for our Lord to come by his way, and would not be silenced by the crowd which rebuked him for his “sin”. He cried out all the more loudly for Jesus to help him.

God rescues us from our tribulations, especially from the darkness of sin. But He has given us free will — the right to choose. He desires our full attention before responding to our call. Jesus asks us, “What do you want me to do for you?” And like the blind man of Jericho, we should answer, “Lord, please let me see.”

Yes, more than physical healing, we need to be able to see through the darkness of our sins — our selfishness and pride, our addictions to the traps and trappings of Satan’s kingdom, and our lack of faith. But really, all we have to do is ask, and as surely as the break of day, Jesus will lead us to the light.

As we enter the season of Advent, let us give pause to examine our spiritual vision: does our faith have a 20/20 insight on the significance of preparing for the coming of our Savior? The blind man of Jericho had been preparing himself for the arrival of his Healer, and at the moment of Jesus’ passage, he shouted with all his might for the miracle that he believed was forthcoming. There are many Christians among us who still do not see the importance of Advent, their preparation consisting simply of planning what gifts to buy for their loved ones this Christmas. How about us, who are leading the way? How do we treat the beggars in the streets who seem to grow in number during the Yuletide season? Do we chastise them when they approach us with their crude caroling paraphernalia? Or do we open our gates or car windows, and like Jesus our Lord ask them, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Open our eyes, dear God, when we fail to see the message that our Lord Jesus wants to impart to us in His Gospel. Lead us from the darkness of our prejudices to the light of Your love and compassion to understand the true meaning of Advent. Amen.

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