One Minute Reflection – 10 December – Friday of the Second Week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 48: 17-19; Psalm 1: 1-4,6, Matthew 11:16-19 and the Memorial of Our Lady of Loreto and the Holy House
“We played the flute for you but you did not dance,
we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.” – Matthew 11:17
REFLECTION – “When some children are dancing and others are singing a dirge, their purpose does not agree. Both sides find fault with their friends for not being in harmony with them. So the Jews underwent such an experience when they accepted, neither the gloominess of John the Baptist, nor the freedom of Christ. They did not receive help, one way or another. It was fitting for John, as a lowly servant, to deaden the passions of the body through very hardy training and for Christ, by the power of His Godhead, freely to mortify the sensations of the body and the innate practice of the flesh and to do so, without reliance on strenuous ascetic labours.
Nevertheless, John, “while he was preaching the baptism of repentance,” offered himself as a model for those who were obliged to lament, whereas the Lord, “who was preaching the kingdom of heaven” similarly displayed radiant freedom in Himself.
In this way, Jesus outlined for the faithful, indescribable joy and an untroubled life.
The sweetness of the Kingdom of Heaven is like a flute.
The pain of Gehenna is like a dirge.” – Origen Adamantius (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father (Fragments, 142-143)
PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people, who come to You in confidence. Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You. Give courage to those who falter because of their failures. In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in hope, by the power of Your Holy Spirit. May Mary Immaculate, our Mother and Advocate be our eternal succour. Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.