Monday, December 1, 2014

Advent I, Monday: "only say the word and my servant will be healed": walking by faith in the light of the Lord

As we undertake the way of Advent in the Church we hear Isaiah's call again, "Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord."

Light is a symbol of the Advent season with the lighting of the candles each week, the glow growing brighter as the birth of the Lord draws near. There is another light, however, that is more powerful and beautiful because it does not depend upon an earthly source to feed its hunger for fuel; a fire that cannot die because its source is not limited by the elements of this world.

The power of this other kind of light is conferred as a gift from God. We encounter that gift in the centurion, a man of authority who knows its source in obedience. The faith of the Centurion is light to us because his words reflect an interior life aglow with faith in Christ: " I too am a man subject to authority".

He recognizes that Jesus' obedience, like his, is an authentic source of authority, conferring worthiness to influence and direct the lives of others. Christ lived openly as One in evident loving obedience to God and therefore reflects the Father as One who is worthy of command like the centurion. This shared obedience is precisely the nature of faith.

The centurion sees Christ as one who heals like God through the vision and strength of faith. The light of faith is vision to behold the God who heals in Christ. The word of absolution in Confession is also a healing word, sought because of faith which confers the ability to accept Jesus as He gives Himself.

When we live the obedience we see in the life of Christ as did the centurion, we share the saving gift of faith. The assurance this grace confers in God's love to save us warms us as an inner and spiritual fire as we journey through the dark days of life on earth, yearning for the undying light of heaven's glory.

"Come, Lord Jesus!"

(Monday of the first week of Advent)

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