Wednesday, December 5, 2012

greater signs

Wednesday of the 1st Week of Advent I
5 December 2012
St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at the University of Kansas
Daily Readings

In today's Gospel we see the fulfillment on the mountain of Isaiah's prophesy.  The sure sign of the Lord's arrival will be the removal of tears, the healing that is done by Jesus on the mountain.  Then there is the superabundance of food.  The circumstances on the mountain are humbler maybe, than the majestic prophecy of Isaiah, but the fulfillment is there, at least in part, through the miracles of healing and feeding.  The time of fulfillment has arrived.  The Messiah is here.

The story on the mountain told by Matthew follows beautifully the pattern of the Mass.  There is a gathering, a listening to teaching, a healing, an offering, a transformation and then a superabundant feeding delivered by the disciples.  The signs experienced by those on the mountain eventually give way, especially in the Gospel of John with its Bread of Life discourse, to the sign of the Eucharist.  Signs that lasted for a day gave way eventually to a great sign, the institution of a Sacrament; in this case, the central sacrament of the Eucharist that we have come to experience.

It should happen almost automatically that those of us who have access to the greater sign seek a greater transformation than than experienced on the mountain.  For sure, this greater sign must be assisted by greater faith, for this greater sign is more mysterious.  Yet the greater sign of the Eucharist leads to a greater gift, the coming of the Lord in more places, feeding and healing more people in more remarkable ways; in every way, the greater sign leads to greater superabundance.  If we leave here then, less changed by this greater sign than those who were present to the signs on the mountain, then we have much Advent work to do.

Let us pray for the Church, that the Lord may receive an eager welcome at his many comings among us, especially in this Advent season of preparation, we pray . . .

For the world, that it may recognize the time of its visitation, and get over its fear of the Lord's coming, we pray . ..

For the mission of St. Lawrence, especially for the piety of students wishing to observe Advent in the  midst of their many concerns, we pray . . .

For the healing of those who are sick and the feeding of those who are hungry, that charity might guide the actions of Christians and all mankind, we pray . . .

For for the perseverance of all those in holy vocations, and for new vocations to the priesthood, religious life, and the sacrament of marriage to be realized through the Lord's coming, we pray . .

Heavenly Father, help us to know that the fulfillment of desires comes less from the arrangement of circumstances and more from your Son's coming.  Help us to accept the good things that come to those who place their trust in Him.  We make our prayers known to you through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


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