1st Week of Advent, Saturday

The purple in Advent symbolizes penitence, sorrow, and suffering before the coming of the Messiah: a world lost in sin and in need of saving. That purple reminds us today that there are a lot of people out their beaten up by life and in need of healing and strength. This season, being a season of family, can be a source of joy or a source of pain depending on whether we’re estranged from those we love. We also need to see it as a opportunity: this the season when many loved ones are reconciled because it reminds them of the love and joy they’d once shared together. Beyond our family circle it is also a time characterized by showing a greater concern for others and their needs.

Where’d we learn all that from? Our Lord, which is why we’re preparing for and eagerly awaiting his coming on Christmas Day. Like the Twelve in today’s Gospel we are sent out to help find the lost, heal the sick and suffering, and cast out the evil that afflicts so many today. The First Reading today reminds us of how much Our Lord provides and will provide. When Jesus reminds the Twelve today, “Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give,” he is reminding us of all the blessings we’ve received in our life for no other reason than his goodness or the goodness of others, and to give with the same attitude.

Let’s be instruments of Our Lord’s concern, compassion, and desire for reconciliation this Advent season by being there for others.

Readings: Isaiah 30:19–21, 23–26; Psalm 147:1–6; Matthew 9:35–10:1, 10:5a, 6–8. See also 14th Week in Ordinary Time, Wednesday and Thursday.