Friday of the Third Week of Advent
Today’s first reading from the Prophet Isaiah presents a radical development in the thought of post-exilic Judaism. That is, even the “foreigners,” who were thought to be excluded from the Covenant, could be joined to the Lord through works of justice and sincere worship. In this way, the Prophet is already preparing a way in the hearts of the people for the universal offer of salvation in Jesus Christ, who would reclaim His Father’s temple in Jerusalem as a “house of prayer for all nations” (cf. Mark 11:17).
Here at the University of St. Thomas, we are blessed with many “houses of prayer” on campus, such as the Chapels of St. Thomas Aquinas, Albertus Magnus, St. Mary, and St. John Vianney, all on the St. Paul Campus; and the Chapel of St. Thomas More on the Minneapolis Campus. Many of these chapels are open all day for quiet prayer. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed for adoration daily in the Albertus Magnus Chapel, and throughout the week in the Chapel of the Redeemer in Koch Commons. These chapels are open to members of all faiths and all nations.
During Lent, it is very common for Christians to make some sort of resolution, or to take on some form of penance, aimed at deeper intimacy with God. But why wait for Lent to do something that we need every day of our lives? Why not start now, this Advent, to make a habit of daily prayer? In Catholic chapels where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved, the sanctuary candle is always burning, day and night, reminding us that God is present. In other words, the light is on for you. Jesus thirsts for you to spend time with Him. If you are longing for peace in your life—a peace that the world cannot give, why not make a daily visit to His house of prayer? Even though Advent is a time in which we await the coming of the Lord, the truth is, Jesus is waiting for you.
Fr. John Whitlock, St. John Vianney College Seminary