2ND WEEK OF ADVENT
St. John of the Cross, priest & doctor
Psalter: Week 2 / (White)
Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 & 6
Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life
1st Reading: Is 48:17-19
Thus says Yahweh, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, Yahweh, your God, teach you what is best for you; I lead you in the way that you must go.
Had you paid attention to my commandments, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
Your descendants would have been like the sand, and those born of your stock like its grains, their names never cut off nor blotted out from my presence.
Gospel: Mt 11:16-19
Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the marketplace, about whom their companions complain: ‘We played the flute for you, but you would not dance. We sang a funeral song, but you would not cry!‘
For John came fasting, and the people said, ‘He is possessed by a demon!‘ Then, the Son of Man came. He ate and drank; and people said, ‘Look at this man: a glutton and drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!‘ Yet, wisdom is vindicated by her works.
Jesus‘ story about disappointed playmates challenge us to examine whether we are selective about persons we want to love and care for. The children in Jesus‘ illustration react with dismay because they cannot get anyone to join in their musical medley. They complain that if they play their music at weddings, no one will dance or sing; and if they play at funerals, it is the same. Are you in tune with the message of the Kingdom or Reign of God of mercy? Jesus‘ message of the Reign of God is good news and it produces true joy and inner freedom for those who will truly love and care for others. Why did the message of John the Baptist and the message of Jesus meet with deaf ears and with stiff resistance? It was out of bias, jealousy, and fear that the scribes and Pharisees attributed John the Baptist‘s austerities to the devil and they attributed Jesus‘ table fellowship as evidence for messianic pretense. They succeeded in frustrating God‘s plan for their lives because they had closed their hearts to the message of John the Baptist and now to Jesus‘ message. What can make us blind and deaf to hear God‘s voice? Like the generation of Jesus‘ time, our age is marked by indifference and contempt, especially as regards the truth of mercy and compassion. Indifference dulls our ears to God‘s mercy and to the good news of healing in a world marked by brokenness and woundedness. We prefer to exclude and judge people unworthy of our attention and care. Only the merciful can find joy and favor in God‘s grace. Do you know the joy of the gospel and is your life in tune with Jesus‘ message of mercy and inclusivity? ”Lord, open my ears to hear the good news of mercy and set my heart free to love and serve you joyfully. May nothing keep me from being merciful today.”
Daily Reflection 2018
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