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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

Mercy Means Crossing The Moat

December 4 Saturday of the First Week of Advent, Year C2

Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26; Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8

It’s easy to love the neighbor with whom we have no contact. If we live in a castle behind a moat and drawbridge, we will never have to refuse mercy to the poor—we won’t even be aware they exist.

But to isolate ourselves is already to refuse mercy. Jesus “went around to all the towns and villages.” It was “at the sight of the crowds” that “his heart was moved with pity for them.”

Pope Francis wrote that we need to “go forth” in order to have mercy, especially “to the poor and the sick, those who are usually despised and overlooked.” According to our faith, “there is an inseparable bond” of relationship between us and the poor.

We can feel safe and religious, the pope says, walled off from “sin” within “structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules...that make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving” for light and love.

“Let us go forth, then...” he says, “to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ” (Joy of the Gospel, no. 49). Mercy moves us to cross the moat.

We proclaim at Mass: “We await the blessed hope of the coming [adventum] of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” Each of us is the savior someone needs. We can make Advent our “coming” to them.

Daily Practice: Each day during Advent, “go out” to someone in need.

Advent Prayer: Here I am, Lord, send me! (See Isaiah 6:8.)

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