Like during the season of Lent, Lord, I have always been amazed with the antiphons and prayers of Advent. Since Monday, we have been praying after Communion for the grace to focus more about things of heaven than of earth. And the most amazing thing about it is we really do not have to look up high to see what is heavenly; we simply have to look at one another just like what you did on the mountain today in the gospel.
After receiving the heavenly food last Monday, we prayed “to love the things of heaven and to hold fast to what endures”; then at Tuesday we implored “to judge wisely of the things of earth and to hold firm to the things of heaven” while today we asked “to be cleansed of our faults and prepare us for the coming feasts” in heaven. These are all calls from you, Lord Jesus, for us to see you among our suffering brothers and sisters.
Stir our hearts, O Christ, and move them into pity like when you worried at the great crowd of people that included “the lame, the blind, the mute, and many others” (Mt.15:30) who have followed you for three days on the mountain with nothing to eat. Make us worry like you for all the sufferings of those forgotten by the society and even by their families. Use our hands to “wipe away the tears from all faces” (Is. 25:28) and let us be the heavenly food and drinks to be partaken by everyone after receiving your words and your Body and Blood in the Eucharist.
Come, Lord Jesus, this holy season of Advent, “illumine what is hidden in darkness” (Entrance antiphon) and let your light penetrate my inner self so I may truly see how far I have been from you and from others, and most especially that I may see you as you are so that in the process I may also see my real self. Renew me this season, Jesus, and let me enter your fullness of life. AMEN. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022.
*Photo by Jim Marpa, a former colleague at the Varsitarian of UST (circa 1986). Used with permission.