Gospel Meditation

“The blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised.” Jesus has quite a résumé. When asked whether or not he is the long awaited Messiah, Jesus replies with this list of his credentials as proof of his position. These signs and wonders speak volumes, to be sure. But perhaps the most interesting line on the list is his concluding one, “the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” Why does he count this among his litany of miracles? What is so remarkable about sharing good news?

Perhaps Jesus included this element of his work–the preaching of good news–to remind his followers that the physical healings were not the ultimate goal of his mission. Rather, the spiritual healing that comes from hearing the good news of salvation is what Jesus was really about. The “poor”–which in a sense means all of us sinners, trapped by the poverty of the sins that enslave us–are freed by Jesus’ message of a loving God who wants to bring us into his kingdom. Our poverty is erased by his richness. His mercy “undoes” our sin and we are invited to become the children of God who share in the glories of his heavenly abode.

Sometimes it’s tempting to just want the visible miracles. But the invisible ones–the conversions that take place in the silence of the human heart–are truly the more important works of God. Such interior transformation is what leads us to eternal life; even a physical cure won’t last for eternity–death still comes at some point. But the really good news is that this miracle of conversion is available to all of us. And this season of Advent is the perfect time to let God work his miracles in our hearts.