Friday of the First Week of Advent
(Isaiah 29:17-24, Matthew 9:27-31)
Fr. Mark Link, the Jesuit spiritual director, recommends a simple examination of conscience at the end of the day. He urges listeners to pray, “Thank you, Father,” followed by naming a blessing bestowed on the person that day. Then, they are to say, “I am sorry, Jesus,” now identifying a particular sin, perhaps of omission, that he or she committed that day. Finally, they are to pray, “Holy spirit, help me,” and include a challenge that is to be faced tomorrow. When we do this, we begin to notice things that we often overlook.
In the first reading, Isaiah looks toward the coming of the Messiah as a time when “the eyes of the blind shall see.” This literally happens in the gospel when Jesus restores the sight of two blind men. It also happens to us as we become more aware of the world around us through prayers like the one Fr. Link proposes. Invoking the Trinity, Link’s examination of conscience is deeply Christian. Done with Advent awareness of the coming of Christ, it ushers us to a personal encounter with Jesus the Savior.