2nd Week of Advent, Friday, Dec 11

Isaiah 48:17-19 / Matthew 11:16-19 

I am your God: I will show you the path to follow.


In The Upper Room, David McIntosh tells this story about a dream his uncle had. In the dream, his uncle’s four-year-old son had grown up to be a teenager. The boy was walking down a road when, suddenly, he disappeared down a dark path. As he did, he called back, “Daddy, you never showed me the right path to follow.”

The dream was so vivid that his uncle woke up from a sound sleep. He was so disturbed by the dream that he woke his wife and told her about it. Together they knelt down on the spot and prayed for their young son. They also resolved to teach their son how to walk always in the light of God’s Word.


“If you had only paid attention to what I have said,” complains the Lord through the prophet, for God wants our own good. Jesus complains that there are people who behave in a childish way when John the Baptist preaches repentance in preparation for the coming of the Messiah: they are like girls who refuse to dance when the flute plays joyful tunes or boys who refuse to mourn when people are weeping. The Lord is among us and asks for commitment so that we can lead the world to life and justice and happiness. What is our faith worth, if we do not practice it?


Do we realize that God often guides others, especially the young, through us? “It would be better for him if a large millstone were tied around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.” Luke 17:2


One of the easiest ways to cause disappointment is to be silent when a good and charitable act is done to us. So, for example, when our mothers prepare a meal for us at home, we may just be indifferent about it and sit at the table and gobble down the food and not say a word of thanks or complement our mothers for the food. To be silent may mean that we are taking things, as well as people, for granted and also that we don't appreciate the good that is done for us. If our silence means that we are indifferent, disinterested and unconcerned, then our criticism can certainly cause more than disappointment. Because with criticism there will be hurt and pain, which will in turn cause unrest and agitation, to say the least.


In the gospel, Jesus commented that the people of His generation seemed to only know how to criticize John the Baptist and Himself, but they wouldn't dance to pipes nor mourn with the dirges. They were not wise enough to see that John the Baptist and Jesus had a message for their salvation. And as the oracle of 1st reading puts it: If only you had been alert to my commandments, your happiness would have been like a river, your integrity like the waves of the sea. So, as we enter deeper into the season of Advent, let us pray for the wisdom to understand the message of salvation. To be silent and not to respond would only leave us disappointed and dismayed at Christmas.


Let us Pray

Lord our God, too often we are deaf to your voice and to the presence of your Son among us, his people. Inspire us by your prophets and your Spirit that now is the right moment to change and to commit ourselves to the kind of life and to the justice demanded by the kingdom. Help us to make people see that your Son is alive among us and that he is our Lord for ever.