Friday of the First Week of Advent
(Isaiah 29:17-24, Matthew 9:27-31)
Jesuit Fr. Mark Link once suggested a simple examination of conscience at the end of the day. He said that we should pray, “Thank you, Father,” followed by naming a blessing that we have received during the day. Then, we are to say, “I am sorry, Jesus,” now identifying a particular sin, perhaps of omission, that we have committed this day. Finally, we to pray, “Holy Spirit, help me,” and include a challenge we face tomorrow. When we pray in this way, we see our lives with wider perspective. We begin to notice favors that we have taken for granted, faults that we have overlooked, and help when we think we are alone.
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 our experience through prayers like the one Fr. Link proposed. Invoking the Trinity, Link’s examination of conscience is eminently Christian. Done with Advent awareness of the coming of Christ, it brings us to a powerful encounter with the Savior.