Monday of the First Week of Advent
Israel, founded on God’s promise to Abraham, was given the same promises as Abraham. Namely, they would be a great nation, that Abraham would receive a great name, and they would become a great blessing to all the nations. This third promise is critical. Israel’s vocation was to be in such an intimate relationship with God their lives would attract the peoples around them to ask, ‘what is different?’ Why are they so blessed by their God? We want in. This is what Isaiah, in our first reading, is seeing: All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and say: “Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain.”
In the coming of Christ, which we anticipate during the season of Advent, we have this movement toward God by the nations. In the Gospel, inspired by the words and actions of Christ, the centurion knew something was different, and he wanted in. His radical faith saved his servant and amazed Christ: “in no one in Israel have I found such faith.”
We are to lead our lives in such a way that people should see Christ coming to them in our words and deeds, “look at how they love!” Then, those around us will come to Christ and his Church to worship and serve. Be a blessing to the nations so that Christ may come to our broken world.
Reflection by Fr. Etienne Huard, OSB