1 December 2019 – 1st Sunday of Advent

A week before Christmas two little brothers happened to stay at their grandmother's house. One night when it was time to go to bed, as usual they both knelt down to say their prayers. While the elder boy was saying his prayers quietly, the younger one was saying his prayers aloud. He prayed, "Dear Lord, I know you are so good and kind to children. Each year during your birthday I receive gifts but I do not like any of them. And raising his voice even louder he said, "Please Lord, this year ask Sant Nicholas not to bring chocolates and biscuits but bring me a hoverboard. His older brother nudged his brother and said, "Why are you shouting your prayers? God isn't deaf." The little brother replied, "I know God is not deaf but our grandma is."

Our God is not deaf. God spoke to the Israelites through the prophets often in various ways. He heard their cries for mercy and delivered them from all their distress and afflictions. And yet they continued to worship other gods and disobey God. Finally, He took on human form in the Person of Jesus and through His ministry, death, and resurrection, redeemed the whole of humankind from sin and death.

What is the message for us?

God continues to speak to us in many different ways especially through His Word. And He always hears our prayers but unfortunately we do not always heed His warnings and advice. Speaking of human blindness and deafness, the prophet Isaiah (59:1-3) says, "The arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear, but your guilty deeds have made a gulf between you and your God. Your sins have made Him hide His face from you so as not to hear you, since your hands are stained with blood and your finger is guilt, your lips utter lies, your tongues murmur wickedness."

From today on we start reading the gospel of Matthew until the Feast of Christ the King next year. Use this resource and our Matthew: Day by Day Guide to help you reflect more deeply this December. May God speak to you this Advent, and may his Son, Jesus Christ dwell within your hearts this day and every day.