Reflection for Monday, December 1, 2003: 1st week in Advent.

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Kalb, Howie, S.J.
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Yesterday we began the new Liturgical year. Today's prophecy from Isaiah helps set the tone for this Season! The hope he envisions for the House of Israel he predicts for "all nations." All nations shall stream toward the Lord's holy mountain: "That he may instruct us in his ways and we may walk in his paths." No longer will people prepare for war. "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks." || In Matthew's Gospel, the Good News tells us that even a Roman centurion devoid of any formal faith finds in Jesus a person of authority far mightier than his own. There was no need of Jesus to come to his house to heal his serving boy. "Just give an order and my boy will get better." | With even the pagan occupiers finding faith in Jesus, he must have experienced Isaiah's vision coming to fruition. "I assure you, I have never found this much faith in Israel." And to affirm and encourage that faith he healed the boy from the distance. | But even as his kingdom kept spreading, more and more the opposition built up against him. Mostly it was fanned into flame by the religious leaders of his day. Such hostility became so pronounced that he finally exclaimed: "When the Son of Man comes will he find any faith in the world?" Within just a couple of years of Christ's public life from overwhelming acceptance of the faith there came the lament whether any would exist at the end of time. | What always puzzles me is how the more evidence comes to light the more prejudiced fight against its truth. One obvious example is in the "Right to Life" controversy. While modern technology can image the fetus in the womb clearly showing the baby at an early stage actually smiling in joy and reacting to pain, so much of our country cannot accept that the child has a right to live. Our Supreme Court agrees and it is the law of the land. Our faith tells us that human life begins at conception. | Our nation was founded on the right that we have "to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." In how many other areas might the Son of Man find no faith when he comes?
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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