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Monday of the First Week of Advent

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 4:2-6; Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4b, 4cd-5, 6-7, 8-9; Matthew 8:5-11

My dear encountered couples:

Jesus praised this man’s faith. For some reason we do not know, this Roman centurion had more faith in Jesus than did the Jews. “I assure you,” said Jesus to those around him, “I have never found this much faith in Israel.”

It is expected that Catholics and Protestants have more faith than people who are not Christian. How many of us do not? How many of us live in fear? Afraid to get up in the morning, afraid to carry out our duties? It’s a matter of focus. Many of us rely more on ourselves and not on the power of God that is within us.

When we focus on ourselves too much, when we place all our hopes in our own ability and strength it is understandable that we find ourselves getting weak in the knees. For no one of us is capable of facing the world all alone all the time and doing all the many things we have gotten involved in. Isn’t it amazing what we are obliged to do! Not only our basic duties, but what other people expect of us and what we expect of ourselves can become an impossible burden. We all need help. And heaven supplies it.

Jesus Christ and his Father have given us the Holy Spirit to be our guide and our strength. The Three Persons in God are with us all the time. We have Mary, our guardian angel, we have some of the saints to protect us, back us up, help us with whatever we need help to do. Granted, with that which is contrary to the will of God we may be left on our own. But for what God wants us to do he gives us more help than we need.

When you get up in the morning, when you do any duty or voluntary act, don’t focus on yourself as having to do it all alone, focus on your many heavenly helpers. The centurion focused his trust in Christ. Sounds like a good idea to me. Maybe we should try it more often.


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