Daily Meditations

The Twenty-Sixth Day of Christmas Advent. Miracles Happen.

IT IS JUST AS THE PROPHET ISAIAH SAID 700 YEARS before the birth of Jesus: the deaf shall hear and the blind shall see. It will happen “in that day,” said Isaiah. The angels over the fields of Bethlehem announced the coming of that day. That day will continue until the end of time. That day is now.

The two blind men were persistent. Like so many who came to Jesus in their neediness, they were not afraid of making a nuisance of themselves. Their persistence was matched by their faith. Jesus asks, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They answer with a simple, “Yes, Lord.” We read, “Then he touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith be it done to you.’ And their eyes were opened.” In the new day predicted by Isaiah and inaugurated by the birth of Jesus, we bring to Christ our need and receive according to our faith, knowing that our faith is his greatest gift.

Miracles happened, and miracles happen now. The world is wilder and more wondrous than most of us dare to believe. An old saying has it that the beginning of philosophy, the beginning of wisdom, is in wonder. In the wonder there is something rather than nothing, in the wonder, for instance, of a newborn baby. Mary felt stirring in her womb the life of God, the Creator become a creature. From the body that God gave to her, she gave to God a body. She looked down into the human face of God, into the face of the one who is, as Christians have said for centuries in the Nicene Creed, “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God.” Miracle of miracles!

And so we say that Mary is the Mother of God, not because of who Mary is but because of who Jesus is. He is true God and true man, and Mary is his mother. As with the two blind men, but on a scale of cosmic consequence, according to her faith it was done to her. The day predicted by Isaiah has come. Miraculous and true: we are the children of God. Not because of who we are, but because of who Jesus is. He is the Son of God, and we are his brothers and sisters. Looking at us, God the Father sees in us his Son, because, by faith, the Son of God is in us.

By the gift of the Holy Spirit who creates faith in our minds and hearts, we are embraced in the beloved community that is God— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Love requires community, and John the Apostle says in his first letter, “God is love.” The Son of God became “Emmanuel, God with us” in order to gather humanity into the eternal life and love of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Wonder of wonders!

Jesus asked the two blind men, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” With them, we say, “Yes, Lord,” and he touches us now and says, “According to your faith be it done to you.” We know not how, but we know that what needs to be done is being done, according to our faith.

~From Richard John Neuhaus, “First Friday of Advent,” GOD WITH US:  Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas, edited by Greg Pennoyer & Gregory


“Come, Lord Jesus.”  Churches often recite this prayer during the Advent liturgy.  But why would we pray for the Lord’s coming when he has already been born among us?  This is the paradox of the season:  advent is a time of tension between the already and the not yet.  While we anticipate the coming of Christ in Bethlehem, we also look forward to his second coming at the end of time.  The first advent points to the last.

~From GOD WITH US:  Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas, “Second Sunday of Advent: History of the Feast,” edited by Greg Pennoyer & Gregory Wolfe