December 14, 2017 – Thursday in the 2nd Week of Advent

Today’s saint: John of the Cross (June 24, 1541 – December 14, 1591)

Scripture readings for today’s Liturgy:

Isaiah 41:13-20 – Psalm 145 – Matthew 11:11-15

“…there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:12)

 What do you think Jesus meant when He said the words quoted above? “… the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than [John]” Remember what happened when the Sons of Thunder asked to have places at the right and left of Jesus in the Kingdom. Jesus’ response was, “You don’t know what you’re asking…that’s not mine to give.” But Jesus also said, “the Kingdom of God/Heaven is among/within you.” So, here we are back to the drawing board: it’s here and yet not here; we’re parched in the wilderness but promised refreshing waters. We’re not just this or that but both and. We’re forever on the way and the problem that every age falls into to is like the “Sons of Thunder’s” request: “grant that we may skip this journey – save us from the hardships of the desert – and bring us directly into the Kingdom.” Our Advent Journey takes us to Bethlehem where we find Jesus. But we can’t just stay there. Even Mary, Joseph and Jesus left Bethlehem and ultimately climbed the Hill of Calvary. If we want to “be with Jesus” it will always be out there. On the way. Yet most of us, when we look at the people around us, say, “This can’t be it! The Kingdom has to be better than this!” I’m sorry to say that if we can’t find Jesus among the people around us and the people that we live and work with we’ll most likely not find him anywhere. And you ask, “You mean that jerk that I live and work with – that drives me up the wall – is part of “the Kingdom?” Better start looking in the mirror every once in a while. Amen!

 

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