The OXYGEN team would like to invite interested writers to contribute a reflection or two for the Christmas mass readings at the end of this year. If you feel called to put the sharing of your faith into writing, please do drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
The OXYGEN team
The Lord says this:
In a short time, a very short time,
shall not Lebanon become fertile land
and fertile land turn into forest?
The deaf, that day,
will hear the words of a book
and, after shadow and darkness,
the eyes of the blind will see.
But the lowly will rejoice in the Lord even more
and the poorest exult in the Holy One of Israel;
for tyrants shall be no more, and scoffers vanish,
and all be destroyed who are disposed to do evil:
those who gossip to incriminate others,
those who try at the gate to trip the arbitrator
and get the upright man’s case dismissed for groundless reasons.
Therefore the Lord speaks,
the God of the House of Jacob,
No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,
no more shall his face grow pale,
for he shall see what my hands have done in his midst,
he shall hold my name holy.
They will hallow the Holy One of Jacob,
stand in awe of the God of Israel.
Erring spirits will learn wisdom
and murmurers accept instruction.
As Jesus went on his way two blind men followed him shouting, ‘Take pity on us, Son of David.’ And when Jesus reached the house the blind men came up with him and he said to them, ‘Do you believe I can do this?’ They said, ‘Sir, we do.’ Then he touched their eyes saying, ‘Your faith deserves it, so let this be done for you.’ And their sight returned. Then Jesus sternly warned them, ‘Take care that no one learns about this.’ But when they had gone, they talked about him all over the countryside.
Do you believe I can do this?
In yesterday’s reflection, I wrote about having personal encounters with God. One such encounter took place during a silent retreat I attended in Chiang Mai two years ago. During that retreat, my long-buried grief over the actions of a family member was awakened, and I was feeling hurt, angry and confused. I was walking on a path through a forest on a small mountain, singing the song “Holy Darkness” to myself, and all of a sudden I heard God speaking to me, reassuring me, and I really felt loved, and rescued by that love.
The blind men in today’s gospel reading saw Jesus and followed him for some time before they had the opportunity to approach him and ask for his help. After encountering Christ and receiving his assurance that their faith will save them, they could not help but go around talking about their encounter with him. Jesus did not just heal them, he showed them the power of their faith in him, that when they asked in faith, they would receive. They were not just physically healed, but spiritually, they had encountered the Lord and were touched deeply.
Advent is a time for of waiting, of preparation, of hope. In this Advent season, I think it would be good to desire for that encounter with Christ as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus into this world. Besides the usual merry-making, shopping and gift-giving, why not also spend more time in prayer during this holiday season?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Edith Koh)
Prayer: We pray for the openness and grace to encounter Christ in our everyday lives.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for the opportunities where we can encounter Christ.