MONDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT
(Isaiah 2:1-5; Matthew 8:5-11)
Because Advent is the season of hope, it is also the time of social justice. Especially people under the sieges of war and of oppression should now sense an expectation of their deliverance. They share Isaiah’s dream in the first reading that the scourge of the sword is being forged into a plowshare of prosperity.
The gospel portrays a man of eminent hope. The centurion recognizes Jesus as God’s emissary. He knows that what Jesus says has the full authority of the Almighty. He hopes that Jesus will give him the word that his servant will be healed. Once he hears it, there is no need to impose himself more on the Lord. He takes his leave knowing that Jesus’ word will be fulfilled.
We should have hopes as high as Isaiah’s and the centurion’s at the beginning of Advent. We hope that the wounds of racism will be completely healed. We hope that the terrorists in Syria and Iraq are soundly defeated. We hope that immigrants in our country will receive their just due. Like a dieter with a vision of a thin self in mind, we realize that these hopes will not come without effort. But, like her again, we know that they cannot be achieved without the help of God.