Friday in the 1st Week of Advent, December 6, 2019

The Blind Will See
In this season of hope, Advent, the word of God gives us a vision of hope. The mighty who rely on their own political power and alliances will be crushed, but the poor, the deaf, the blind, that is, those who still believe in God’s presence and action in the world, will see salvation. This is the promise of Isaiah in the name of God.
When we celebrate the Eucharist, we profess our faith that God, in fact, begins the fulfillment of this promise in Jesus. He restores the eyesight of the blind because they believe. God has committed himself to the world through Jesus Christ.

1 Reading: Isaiah 29:17-24
Thus says the Lord GOD: But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be regarded as a forest! On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book; And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see. The lowly will ever find joy in the LORD, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the tyrant will be no more and the arrogant will have gone; All who are alert to do evil will be cut off, those whose mere word condemns a man, Who ensnare his defender at the gate, and leave the just man with an empty claim. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham: Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of, nor shall his face grow pale. When his children see the work of my hands in his midst, They shall keep my name holy; they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob, and be in awe of the God of Israel. Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and those who find fault shall receive instruction.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14
R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid? R.

One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple. R.

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD. R.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, our Lord shall come with power;
he will enlighten the eyes of his servants.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel: Matthew 9:27-31
As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!” When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.

Advent is a season of hope. We relive the longing of Israel for final redemption, with our own eyes directed toward a future of justice and equity. The conviction is deep that our Redeemer lives.
Jesus gives sight to the blind men in today’s Gospel. This is seen in the Isaiah reading as part of God’s promise for the final days. But that reading speaks of other things as well, beyond the blind seeing and the deaf hearing. It marks the end of oppressive governments, of which we see more than our share today. How cruelly and inhumanly are the rights of the poor trampled underfoot! The age of the kingdom will also see the end of those who trumpet freedom and then, with arrogance, export their own brand of liberty, often secularist and morally offensive. The age of the kingdom will see an end of schemers and predators who He in wait for the innocent and defenseless.
Isaiah also speaks of the judicial system in an age when honesty and truth will abound, when fraud and deception will be no more. A judge will be determined by his qualifications of learning and integrity, not by his political leanings.
Furthermore, and in a positive sense, it will be an age when children will be impressed by goodness and will see the presence of God mirrored in their surroundings. The word awesome, used so commonly by our youth today, will be the reaction to seeing lives lived in God’s presence.
Yet, allowance is still made for mistakes. Error will lead to understanding. As the letter of John says, if we say we are sinless, we are liars (1 John 1:8). Good will and a change of heart make all the difference in the world.
We all suffer from blindness, but every positive step along the way moves us on the road to clearer vision. Jesus does all that is good.

That God may open our eyes to look at ourselves and this world with eyes of faith. Then, there will be little that is dark in life. May the Lord touch the eyes of our hearts and bless us, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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