Posted by: livingscripture | December 15, 2016

Third Thursday of Advent

 

WORD of the DAY

 

When the messengers of John the Baptist had left,
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 garments? 
Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously
are found in royal palaces. 
Then what did you go out to see? 
A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
(Luke 7 : 24-30)

 

How shall I live this Word?0703md03[1]

John the Baptist appears again  in our Advent reading.  He is the precursor and he is shown in all his greatness by Jesus Himself who pays him a splendid elegy.  The disciples of John ask Jesus a precise question about His identity.  Now Jesus questions the crowds, “What did you go out to the desert to see?”  Jesus asks this question three times but He is not looking for a response from the crowds.  He Himself responds about John’s greatness that does not consist only in his austere life or in the strength of his adamantine character, but rather in having fully received his mission of preparing the way of the Messiah.  John came to give witness to Another, not himself.  The greatness of the precursor lies here!  He can define himself simply as a finger pointed toward Christ the Lord.

After praising John, Jesus rapidly traces the two positions that His contemporaries had taken in regard to him and the pressing invitation to conversion.  It deals with attitudes that show true interior readiness to receive or not receive God’s will and not only to listen to a prophet.

  • The people, and particularly the Publicans, had accepted the baptism of repentance preached by John, recognizing that God revealed Himself by sending a prophet to announce to the people the imminent judgment and the urgency for conversion.
  • The Scribes and Pharisees who had refused the baptism of repentance, failing to recognize themselves in need of repentance, thus annulling the merciful plan of God for them.

In this time of Advent, in a moment of recollection and prayer, I will make myself completely available to prepare the way of the Lord who comes to save me, docile to the teachings of the Precursor.

 The Voice of the Liturgy

Christ was proclaimed by all the Prophets; the Virgin Mother waited and carried Him in her womb with ineffable love; John proclaimed His coming and indicated His presence in the world.  May the same Lord who invites us to prepare for His birth, find us vigilant in prayer, exultant with praise.  (Advent Preface)

 

 

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