Saturday of the First Week of Advent, originally posted on

“The Kingdom of heaven is at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” – Matthew 10:7-8

“My body hurting.”

It has been almost two weeks since our toddler began feeling sick.  He tested negative for everything on the 22-pathogen panel (including COVID) and we are more than halfway through a 10-day course of antibiotics for the secondary infection in his ears that developed. In addition to the cornucopia of symptoms he has displayed, he keeps telling us “my body hurting.” He cannot really say what hurts (we know his ears must hurt from the ear infections, and it seems like his face hurts from sinus swelling). Without being able to articulate the specifics, his message has been clear… his body hurts.  We have talked to the doctor nearly every day this week, run all the tests, and exhausted the home remedies. We stay awake with him at night when he is too uncomfortable to sleep. But we can’t really take away his suffering.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus meets people who are similarly hurting. Like “sheep without a shepherd,” they wander lost through their lives.  They may not be able to name the void they feel or identify what pain is crippling them. Yet, Jesus sees and acknowledges their genuine needs.  He likewise offers that same healing to each one of us.  Jesus also engages the disciples in this ministry, encouraging them to allow the grace of God to flow through them in a way that transforms the people around them. They are challenged to freely give and freely offer hope and healing. 

I long for God’s grace to flow stronger  than stress, anxiety, or resentment through me. I am tired of being short-tempered, discouraged; and hopeless. This Advent, I pray for the grace to experience the nearness of Christ like Mary does, and to allow that healing to flow through me in some small way. 

What emptiness inside me longs to be filled?

How does Jesus offer me comfort and healing today?

Published by jencoito

Jen Coito is a California native with diverse experience in parish, academic, and national ministry settings. She has a Masters in Pastoral Theology from Loyola Marymount University. She worked for the California Province of Jesuits for seven years promoting Christian Life Community on university campuses and other diverse ethnic settings. Jen has collaborated on the creation of formation materials, discernment tools, and small group processes that are being used around the country in Vietnamese, Korean, Spanish, and English. In 2013, Jen and Jesuit priest Fr. Tri Dinh co-founded Christus Ministries out of a desire to engage local young adults and form young-adult friendly parishes. Jen works for the Sisters of Notre Dame in California as the Associate Director of Mission Advancement. Jen, Jason, and their three children live in Southern California. You can read more of Jen's writings at

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