Friday of the First Week of Advent
(Isaiah 29:17-24; Matthew 9:27-31)
Today’s gospel, as most during Advent, ostensibly fulfills the prophecy in the first reading. Jesus makes “the eyes of the blind…see.” The world has likewise experienced steady progress in the elimination of blindness. One expert has said that if it were not for diabetes, blindness might be extinct today.
But physical blindness is not the only concern of the prophet. He is taken up with spiritual blindness as well. He rails against the arrogant whose faces are puffed up with conceit. These people fail to see how their lifestyles hinder the development of a just world. Pope Francis analyzes how this blindness comes about in his encyclical “Fratelli Tutti.” He says that communication technology has allowed people to become more selective in the news they receive. They in turn become more convinced of biased arguments and form factions to secure privileges for themselves.
Our hope for a just world is everlasting because Jesus, the eternal king, is its basis. During this season of Advent, we hope to see tables turned, at least a little. We long to see a more equitable distribution of wealth where everyone has basic needs met. We want the poor to prosper spiritually as well as economically. We hope that our lives too may prioritize a concern for others rather than a preoccupation with self.