December 6, 2019
by Julie Kalkowski
Creighton University's Psychology Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Friday of the First Week of Advent
Lectionary: 179

Isaiah 29:17-24
Pslams 27:1, 4, 13-14
Matthew 9:27-31

Today's Advent Prayer

Praying Advent Home Page

Reconciliation and Healing

Desiring Patient Fidelity  
Holding Hands with God: Pondering Isaiah

My mind kept wandering as I read and reread today’s readings.  Usually I spot a theme the first time I go through the readings, but not with today’s. There were so many avenues to explore, my mind bounced from idea to idea. 

For instance, the numerous miracles being promised…the deaf hearing, the blind seeing, the lowly finding joy in God in the first reading. Then the reading abruptly switches from promised miracles to “the tyrant will be no more…. All who are alert to evil will be cut off.” It seemed to be talking about today’s world…so many, many refuges, school shootings, global warming. It made me long for the time when evil will be cut off. 

Moving on to today’s Psalm challenged me to think about whom and what I fear.  Fear often silenced and continues to silence me at times, so I don’t speak up. Maybe if I sought refuge in God, it would be easier to speak up next time instead of being afraid. The next stanza prompted me to think about how often I “gaze on the loveliness of the Lord” which sadly is not very often.   Remembering to do that could help me see all the incredible goodness God has created for us and keep me focused on what’s important.  The last stanza provided guidance to the tough problems that surfaced for me in the first reading by counseling patience and courage.

The gospel seemed to finally pull all the readings together for me. “Let it be done for your according to your faith.”  Do I really think faith can cure blindness or deafness?  The jury is still out on that for me.  But I do know faith made those blind men see.  Jesus quietly reminds us of the power of being faithful in today’s Gospel. 

As I again sifted through today’s readings, I realized what a gift it was for me to just struggle with them. Spending time with God has always been a better place for me to be. Perhaps my struggle with today’s readings was God’s way of reinforcing the importance of making this time to spend in silence and in prayer so that I can be stouthearted and act courageously as I wait for God. 

It is unlikely that I will witness a blind person become able to see or a deaf person being able to hear. However, dwelling in God’s house can open my eyes to the ways I am blind or deaf to others.  Sitting with God will help me be more patient and remind me I am not in control.

As it is the feast day of St. Nicolas, I invite you to be kind to someone who is struggling today.  It might be that your unexpected kindness will remind them of God’s love and goodness and help them move on to a better place.  Imitating God’s love and goodness can help us overcome our fears, our blindness or deafness so that we can become part of cutting off evil.  And maybe, just maybe, move us closer to God’s Kingdom becoming a reality so that persons might get a glimpse of the goodness of God and have hope it will get better.  If we continue to do so, maybe then we can overcome our fears, our blindness, our deafness so that God’s kingdom can become a reality.

Would expanding our faith to match the blind men lead to miracles like they experienced?

But that’s part of the gift in writing these reflections.  It gives me time to sit with God…to sit with these words spoken across time.  I so treasure this opportunity. And yet I only this this time with God on retreat or when writing these reflections.  Why don’t I take the time to do this more often as it leads me to experience the wonder of God’s goodness. 

During writing this reflection, a woman I admired and loved passed away.  She focused on what she could fix and didn’t fret about what else was going on.  “That’s God's job” she would remind me when I got overwhelmed. 

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