Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Today’s Gospel: Luke 5: 17-26

“We have seen incredible things today.” After the crowds see Jesus heal the paralytic man and offer forgiveness for sins, they stand astonished, and give glory to God. Seeing God at work in their life, they can only but praise his works.

Our world may not seem as charged with God’s grandeur. We see violence and terror, racism and division. We might not always stop to say “I see God present in this.” Perhaps, we may be a bit more skeptical. But in this season of Advent we are invited to look past the everyday difficulties of our lives. We are invited by the Church to see that incredible things do take place, and they happen today. We have seen the reconciliation of estranged families, or the generous care given to a loved one. We do see the compassionate outreach of total strangers. In this season, we are faced with the realization that these are not temporary oases in a world of pain and suffering, but they are signs of the world to come.

We spend these four weeks preparing for the King to be born to us; but he is born in our midst today. Christ comes to us not only on December 25th, but every day. Today we shall see these incredible things. The Kingdom of Heaven breaks into this world when, amidst the sorrow we may see around us, love conquers hatred. Christ comes into this world today when we dare to act with love. When you and I boldly dare to forgive, heal, and serve we herald in the Kingdom just as John the Baptist. The Child who is promised as the Prince of Peace reigns when we are willing to go out in service of one another. Jesus came into this world in to usher in a new age of love and mercy. Today, we continue this work. Today, we follow Christ in making the Kingdom of Heaven present here and now. If we have the courage to act as Christ did, then, like the crowds Jesus once ministered to, we too shall go out proclaiming, “We have seen incredible things today.”

Copyright Deacon Matthew Hovde, C.S.C.

Deacon Matthew Hovde, C.S.C. is the Assistant Rector of Sorin College at the University of Notre Dame. A finally professed religious of the Congregation of Holy Cross preparing for Ordination to the Priesthood in the Spring, Deacon Matt serves in Notre Dame’s Campus Ministry Team.