I love the readings of Advent. We spend lots of time in Isaiah, and the Gospel passages always hit home. (Not that they don’t during the rest of the year!) Let’s pray that during this Advent season much fruit will be borne for the Kingdom in our lives. The first reading today is from Isaiah 2. We hear about the good things to come during the Age of the Messiah. “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another.” Another reading that makes us yearn for the coming of Christ.
In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 8, a centurion asks Jesus to heal one of his servants from afar. Jesus offers to go to the man’s house, but the man says, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” Lord, I am not worthy. Words we echo at every Mass, right before we do receive Him in the Eucharist. But truer words were never spoken. Lord, I am not worthy to receive you; but only say the word and I shall be healed.
Wouldn’t life be terrible if we had to be worthy to receive Jesus? Shoot, our churches would be empty! For that matter, there would be no church! No one ever has been, is now, or ever will be worthy to receive Christ Jesus. But thank God that Jesus is not looking for anyone who is worthy! Because He knows that we could never be worthy on our own, He has done the hard work for us. We are made worthy through His sacrifice. And that’s really good news, isn’t it?
Father, you know that we are not worthy. Yet, we are counted worthy because of Your Son. Help us to always be grateful for His sacrifice for us. Amen.