Monday of Week 1 of Advent – Gospel

Commentary on Matthew 8:5-11

The Gospel describes an unexpected level of faith in a gentile which even amazes Jesus:

When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and will take their places at the banquet with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven…

The Kingdom which Jesus comes to proclaim is for all peoples everywhere. It is the central message of Christmas. This is not just a time for celebration and for parties. The birth of the Prince of Peace in the poverty of the stable is a challenge to us to carry on his work among God’s children everywhere.

Jesus has not failed. It is we who have done so little to carry on what he began. Advent is a time for us to reflect on the real meaning of God coming to live and work among us, and on the responsibility of his followers to carry on the work of making the Kingdom a reality for all.

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