December 14, 2019 – Saturday 2nd Week of Advent / Memorial of St John of the Cross, priest and doctor of the Church
Click here for the readings http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/121419.cfm
Have you been opposed by others just because you are different? Have you been rejected by people around you just because you do not adhere to the status quo, to what they do and to what they liked to believe?
The Gospel today tells us that the arrival of Jesus was not received warmly by people around him particularly of those in the leadership, of those in the high position. Despite the call of the prophets from the ancient times from Isaiah, Elijah and up to the person of John the Baptist, God’s coming was received with great opposition. As the prophets called the people to turn away from sin and selfishness, the prophets also received violent condemnation from the powerful. This was what happened to John the Baptist who confronted King Herod for his immoral union with his brother’s wife. As a result, John was silenced by beheading him. In the words of Jesus, he said, “they treated him as they pleased.”
Indeed, the Lord revealed himself, yet the people refused to recognize him because their hearts were filled with malice and full of themselves. These people who continually rejected and opposed Jesus had become so comfortable with their life but trapped by their own selfishness.
The Pharisees, scribes, lawyers and priests of the temple were so comfortable with their way of life that they did not want a change and did not want to be challenged. They were afraid of losing what they were enjoying. Herod and his mistress were also contented with their immoral life and did not want to be confronted. Thus, these people did not want God to change their life. What they seek was the preservation of that kind of life they were living. However, this was not what God wanted. Jesus wanted them to be free, that is why, he had to confront them.
In this Season of Advent, we are reminded to also examine ourselves if we have become too comfortable with what we have been doing, with what we have been thinking and with what we are living for. The problem is not the comfort in itself, the concern is our attitude or way of life in choosing to be indifferent and unmoved with what is happening around us and with God’s self-revelations in our life. This also include our attitudes of not wanting to change, to be challenged, to be criticized and to be corrected.
Hence, this calls us to confront ourselves with those attitudes that do not lead us closer to others and closer to God. Jesus invites us today to be more welcoming of his presence by also letting go of those comforts that prevent us from coming closer to him, and attitudes that prevent God to enter into our life.
As we prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus, may our hearts and our whole life be more ready and more welcoming of God’s coming. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR