Intention: That in this season of hospitality and generosity, all of us will make a special place for those whose lives are wounded by need, misfortune or injustice.
Today’s Gospel | Luke 7:24-30
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. This is the one about whom Scripture says:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, he will prepare your way before you.
I tell you, among those born of women, no one is greater than John; yet the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.” (All the people who listened, including the tax collectors, who were baptized with the baptism of John, acknowledged the righteousness of God; but the Pharisees and scholars of the law, who were not baptized by him, rejected the plan of God for themselves.)
A Reflection for the Third Thursday of Advent
Today’s Gospel offers to the reader an Advent lesson in salvation history. Simply, what salvation history tells us is that we are made by and belong to a loving God who throughout time has made himself and his ways known to us. It also speaks of the many ways in which we have or have not responded to this divine gift. And it is the interplay between these narratives that is at the heart of the Christmas story. With the birth of Jesus, the Incarnation is God’s definitive saving act, one in which he breaks into human history and shares with us his own Word of redemption. In Christ, we are shown what we must do if the grace of salvation is ever to take hold in our lives. As in the story, it is up to us to be awake to the signs of the times, and to make our way to the manger and say yes to God’s presence. Above all, we must begin to be a people that no longer lives in waiting and uncertainty, but in readiness and trust. The time of Advent is a time for taking up our own role in the redeeming act of God for the sake of our own salvation and that of all creation.
Eternal Father, we now look for the birth of your Son, to come into our world, to come into our hearts. And so we pray: send your Son, so that our souls may be at one with you. Send your Son, so that we may think, act, and speak with righteousness. Send your Son, so that we may be grateful for your many gifts. Send your Son, so that all of your people may find peace and justice. Send your Son, so that, in his light, all darkness may vanish. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.