Sunday, December 11th
Is 35: 1-6, 10
Ps 146: 6-10
James 5: 7-10
Mt 11: 2-11
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of God
Today is Gaudete Sunday–a day of rejoicing because the Messiah is close at hand. Languishing in prison, I suspect John the Baptist had little reason to rejoice. Wealthy Roman overseers were despoiling Hebrew ancestral lands while most religious leaders—being more interested in consolidating their own power—looked the other way. To control the populace, they preached a rigid adherence to inconsequential rules very few could keep. Is John’s world so very different from our own? His question to Jesus could well be ours: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” In other words, “Put up or shut up, Jesus. Why aren’t you doing something?“ Jesus replies that Isaiah’s messianic signs are indeed being fulfilled in him: “The blind regain their sight, the lame walk, the deaf hear . . .. ” But he also subtly challenges John—and us—to not give up or go away if he has not yet met our expectations: “Blessed is the one who does not take offense [is not scandalized] by me.” A tall order. It is hard to wait for “the day of the Lord” when God will be all in all.
Dear God help me to trust Jesus’ timing
as I work on behalf of your
gentle reign, so slowly breaking into this wounded world.
Let me embrace the “hardship and patience”
of the prophets, especially
when overwhelmed by the needs of our planet and its peoples.
Sister Christine Schenck, CSJ