CACINA

Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on December 12, 2010

Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 11:2-11

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:

Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.

Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: On this third Sunday in Advent, the Church gives us a passage from Matthew’s Gospel that describes an event that occurred about halfway through the Lord’s ministry. In this reading, Herod the Tetrarch has arrested John the Baptist, who now is in jail. While incarcerated, John sends several of his disciples to ask Jesus a question: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” (Of course, “the one who is to come” refers to the Messiah.)

Characteristically, Jesus does not directly answer the question. Instead, he quotes the prophet Isaiah: “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” This passage describes the activity of the Messiah and is exactly what Jesus is doing day-to-day in his ministry. In other words, Jesus in his cryptic way says to John, “Yes, I am the Messiah.”

While this passage proclaims the living presence of the Messiah among us, we during advent (and in a larger sense, we during the wait for the culmination of time when the Lord will return), are full of anticipation for unfulfilled things. Jesus continues to live among us and through us as the Church. But we also know, as Paul tells us in Romans, that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now.

Christmas is about the arrival of the Christ in our lives and the fulfillment of joy. It invites us to respond, as St. Robert Southwell wrote in his poem “The Nativity of Christ,” to the invitation, Up heavy hearts, with joy your Joy embrace.

Spiritual reading: He kindles our understanding, he prepares our ways, he eases our conscience, he comforts our soul, he lightens our heart, and gives us, in part, a knowing and loving in his blessed, blissful godhead, with the gracious mentality of his sweet manhood and his blessed passion, and with a courteous marveling at his noble, surpassing goodness. He makes us love all that he loves for his love, and be well satisfied with him and with all his works (Revelations of Divine Love by Dame Juliana of Norwich)

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