Today’s Gospel begins: “When Jesus entered Capernaum,” (Matthew 8:5-11) It is a very accessible detail for us. Advent helps us prepare for the birth of Jesus Christ, who entered the world as the Son of God. Perhaps a helpful way for us to enter Advent is to allow Jesus to approach us as we did during his earthly ministry.
Wherever we live, let us acknowledge this approach of Jesus. For instance, as I wake up in Seattle this morning, I simply change Capernaum to Seattle.
Jesus entered Seattle. Is this not the reason Jesus comes, to reveal God to the world? At his birth, Jesus entered the world, indeed all of creation, time and space. He also sees each of us as we are, a beloved child of God, brothers and sisters to himself.
The centurion who greeted Jesus in today’s Gospel was a man of great faith, and this also instructs us that we are to receive Jesus with great faith.
In Morning Prayer this morning, the Gospel Canticle also gives us great instruction for our Advent journey:
“Lift up your eyes, Jerusalem, and see the great power of your King; your Savior comes to set you free.”
Again, we can place our own city or town in this antiphon, in place of Jerusalem.
“Lift you your eyes, Seattle, and see the great power of your King; your Savior comes to set you free.” Or, make it even more personal by placing your own name in this antiphon.
The Prophet Isaiah knew that the ‘mountain of the Lord’s house’ would be established as the highest mountain, and all nations would stream toward it. (Isaiah 2:2) This is the truth of God’s holy Word. Ultimately, Jesus comes to establish his dwelling within every human heart.
Advent provides a grace for all to recognize the approach of Jesus, into each town, every time and place, into every life.
Lift our eyes to You, O Lord, that we may see and believe. Open our hearts to welcome You as our most desired Guest. Let us walk humbly with you daily, as we climb Your Holy Mountain to our eternal dwelling place with You.0