Intention: That all people will hear in the story of the birth of the Christ Child the call to increase our attention to the needs of children throughout the world.
Today’s Gospel | Matthew 11:16-19
Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”
A Short Reflection for the Second Friday of Advent
Throughout history, every age has seen its share of what it calls progress, of steps toward acquiring more knowledge about the workings of life. However, one of the things that we now know is that while knowledge may make us smarter, it does not necessarily make us wiser. With all that we have learned about the nuts and bolts of life, we still often fail to realize their true significance. Consider, for example, how we frequently misunderstand how the ordinary activities of daily living are both naturally and invariably folded into the redemptive work of God. Instead of embracing them as part of God’s intended whole, we categorize them into a false dichotomy of “sacred” and “profane”. While this may serve the superficial sentiment of reverence, it all but ruins its deep purpose. As author Dallas Willard wrote, “Sometimes we get caught up in trying to glorify God by praising what He can do and we lose sight of the practical point of what He actually does do.” In other words, we miss how God comes to us by limiting our awareness of him to a small, contrived corner of our experience — a mistake not unlike the one made by many when they were told that the redemption of humanity would be found as the infant of an insignificant man and woman huddled in a makeshift lodging. Advent is a time for remembering that, bidden or not bidden, God is present.
Eternal Father, as we prepare during this Advent to celebrate the birth of our Savior, we think about how so many did not recognize him in his coming, and still do not today. It is only through the eyes of faith that one can see you present and active in our midst. We pray that, by your grace, we will know the sound of your voice as you call us the work of building your Kingdom. Grant that we might always embrace this gift with faith and zeal, with peace in our hearts and with goodwill to all. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.