Friday, December 4, 2009

Mass on Friday, the First Week in Advent

I very much enjoy going to Mass, and I do so as often as circumstances of my life permit. Today, by God's grace, I was able to participate at Mass at the Carmelite Monastery in Georgetown. Father Tom Timmons, the Carmelite Nuns' chaplain, concelebrated the Mass with Father Adam, a discalced Carmelite priest, who was visiting the nuns. Fr. Adam was accompanied by two young men who are postulants at the Discalced Carmelite Friar's monastery in San Jose.

This morning's Mass featured the holy Gospel according to Matthew 9:27-31, where two blind men begged Jesus to heal them with these words, "Son of David, have pity on us!" Their faith moved Jesus to grant their request and "their eyes were opened." Although Jesus sternly warned them to tell no one, they did just the opposite and "spread the word through the whole area!" Personally, I don't blame them. Anyway, anyone who knew they were blind and could now see would be asking questions, so even if they wanted to keep quiet, it would be rather impossible.

According to Fr. Adam, who preached the homily, all of us need to be cured of our "blindness." Here, of course, he means the blindness caused by the way sin distorts our vision of the world, our communities, and our interior lives. Receiving Jesus in the Eucharist is our source of healing. This is why I like to participate in Mass so often. I need the healing offered by our Lord in Holy Communion---and I need it often.

I have a book of Advent meditations, Biblical Meditations for Advent and the Christmas Season by Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P. It has fine commentaries about the daily as well as the Sunday scripture readings for both Advent and Christmas. It it helping me maintain the right spirit of hopeful expectancy.

After Mass I like to stay in the chapel for silent meditation. In our hustle bustle world there are few oases where one can experience true silence, and the monastery chapel is one of those places.

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