Saint for the day: Catherine Laboure (1806-1876)
Isaiah 4:2-6 – Psalm 122 – Matthew 8:5-11
“When does a ‘house’ become a ‘home?”
Take a moment before you get right into today’s reflection, to let that saying, above roll around in your mind. Then take some time to think about what you came up with.
As we begin our Advent journey we are first given the image of “house.” From Isaiah’s promise that “the mountain of the Lord’s House shall be established as the highest mountain…” to our rejoicing (Psalm 122) as go to the House of the Lord.”
In the Gospel Jesus encounters a Roman Centurion who feels unworthy to have the Lord enter his house. From this event we get our Communion phrase, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof but only say a word and I (my servant) will be healed.” So Holy Communion is worthy of our reflection today.
I take a side trip for a moment to comment on this phrase that we recite just before receiving Holy Communion. Jesus says, “I am the Bread of Life.” And the bread that we receive is the true presence of Jesus. Now, just as we begin our “Advent Journey” we can jump all the way to the end – with the Birth of Jesus taking place in Bethlehem. That very word means….”House of Bread.” So, it doesn’t take much for us to put together the notion that Jesus, the “bread of life” (the House of Bread) comes into our “house” to transform us and become one with us. “Only say the word…” and all our unworthiness is healed. We are transformed and become bread for the world and many people can be “fed” on the grace that issues forth from us because we have let the savior of the world come under our roof. The image of yeast can also give us more insight into this wonderful miracle that happens when we say those words, “Lord I am not worthy that you should come under my roof but only say a word and I shall be healed.” It’s our Christmas Gift on this second day of Advent. Amen!