Friday of the First Week of Advent
Isn’t it wonderful when scripture perfectly reflects what you’re feeling in that moment? In the midst of this bleak midwinter (I’m from Dallas, Texas. I don’t like cold), the scripture reassures us that our suffering is almost at an end. Now, Isaiah doesn’t talk about finals week, sagging GPAs, or the prospect of graduation in 6 months, but I am most certainly one of “Those who err in spirit” or “find fault”. It’s always nice to hear that I “shall acquire understanding” or “receive instruction”. Of course, instruction and acquiring understanding are all what this semester, or college is about, right? So, what does that mean in the context of Advent? This season beckons us to look towards the miracle of a baby born into this world, the love of a mother, the love of God manifest in the world. There’s some donkeys, some wise men, and some shepherds involved too, but all in all it asks us to look up, see that light shining high above us, and that love coming our way. It’s dark, but it’s coming. It’s the coldest time of the year (unless the polar vortex comes back), but there’s some warmth to be found around the manger.
All it takes is a concerted effort on our part to look, see, and believe. The Gospel today emphasizes that. Two blind men ask for the pity of Jesus and He heals them for their faith. Their belief opens their eyes. I wear glasses, so my vision is not perfect, but I can still see those two fingers people hold up to test my vision. However, I have no idea what next semester is going to bring. I don’t know where I’ll be, who I’ll be with, or what exactly I’ll be doing in 6 months. I don’t know whether we’ll be having turkey or ham at Christmas dinner. I should call home about that…
It’s cold, it’s dark, finals are bearing down, and the relatives will be bearing down shortly thereafter. BUT, we have a chance to witness wonderful things if we but take heart, have a little faith, and maybe get a little bit of that “understanding” or “instruction” we need so badly. The Psalm lays it out in such beautiful terms: “the loveliness of the Lord”, “the bounty of the Lord”. Grandma’s cooking probably makes for a pretty nice bounty. Really anything made with love, by someone you love will taste pretty good. So don’t just look forward to those things, look out for them because they could sneak up on you, much like an immaculate conception would sneak up on you.
Andrew Bennett is a student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and a Resident Advisor in Marchetti Towers.