Posted by: frburke23 | December 10, 2016

Thought for 3rd Sunday of Advent

Thought for 3rd Sunday of Advent
 
MATTHEW 11:2-11
When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
 
As they were going off,
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 clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
=======================
I find it interesting that from prison John the Baptist questions Jesus’s identity. “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” John leapt in the womb of his mother Elizabeth when Jesus visited them in the womb of his mother Mary. If John questioned the identity of Jesus, imagine how many other people had the same question. How many people today wonder who Jesus is as well?
 
Jesus did not respond philosophically or theoretically. He said, “…the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” In other words, what do you see? Everything that the prophet Isaiah predicted would happen with the coming of the Messiah is happening. You make the call. Do you believe that I am the one you have been waiting for all along?
 
We may say today, “I want to see those miracles happening today. I don’t see them; therefore God does not exist.” The people of Jesus’s time wanted to see physical manifestations and we want the same thing today. Well I can tell you that these things do happen today. I have witnessed and read about these types of physical healings. Incredible things have happened and continue to happen through the power of Jesus.
 
Not only does Jesus heal physically, but more importantly, He wants to heal us spiritually. How many people are spiritually blind? Like Saul, they do not see things from the perspective of God. Once God removed the scales from Saul’s eyes, he began to see the world differently and gave his life to preach the good news.
 
How many people are spiritually deaf today? We want to listen to the latest guru, self-help book, pop star or athlete and yet we do not listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We do not listen to the voice of the Church that has been inspired by the Holy Spirit. Yet, when our spiritual ears are opened and our conscience is formed, we start to hear things in a way that we never have before.
 
So many people today have become experts in the ways of the world. We know how to make millions of dollars. We know how to become popular or famous. We know how to climb the corporate ladder. Yet spiritually we are blind, deaf, lame and dead. Our mortal sins separate us from God’s grace, His divine life that lives in us.
 
Let’s take this 3rd week of Advent to ask God to open our eyes, ears, hearts, minds and souls to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Through the power of the Sacraments, let us allow God’s grace to transform our lives completely from the inside out.
 
Do I frequent the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist?
Am I more concerned about the ways of the world than the spiritual life?
Am I living in God’s grace?
 
Have a blessed week!
Fr. Burke
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