Advent Reflection – 13 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent, Year A, Readings: Isaiah 48:17-19, Psalm 1:1-4, 6, Matthew 11:16-19
Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.
“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.” … Matthew 11:18-19
REFLECTION – “Saint John the Baptist was separated from the world. He was a Nazarite (Lk 1:15; Nb 6:2). He went out from the world and placed himself over against it… and called it to repentance. Then went out all Jerusalem to him into the desert (Mk 3:5) and he confronted it face to face. But in his teaching he spoke of One who should come to them and speak to them in a far different way. He should not separate Himself from them, He should not display Himself as some higher being but as their brother, as of their flesh and of their bones, as one among many brethren, as one of the multitude and amidst them; nay, He was among them already: “There hath stood in the midst of you, whom you know not” (Jn 1:26)…
At length Jesus begins to disclose Himself and to manifest His glory in miracles but where? At a marriage feast… And how? in adding to the wine… Now compare this with what He says in St Matthew’s Gospel of Himself: “John came neither eating nor drinking—The Son of man came eating and drinking and they say: Behold a man that is a glutton and wine-drinker.” John might be hated but he was respected; Jesus was despised…
This was, O dear Lord, because Thou so loved this human nature which Thou has created. Thou did not love us merely as Thy creatures, the work of Thy hands but as men. Thou love all, for Thou has created all but Thou love man more than all. How is it, Lord, that this should be? What is there in man, above others? “What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?” (Ps 8,5)… Thou did not take on Thee an angelic nature when Thou did manifest Thyself for our salvation, so too Thou would not come in any shape or capacity or office which was above the course of ordinary human life—not as a Nazarene, not as a Levitical priest, not as a monk, not as a hermit but in the fullness and exactness of that human nature, which, so much Thou love… in that very flesh which had fallen in Adam and with all our infirmities, all our feelings and sympathies, sin excepted.” … St John Henry Newman (1801-1890) – Meditations and Devotions, Part III, VII God with us 1
MEDITATION – Oh, if sinners knew My mercy, they would not perish in such great numbers. Tell sinful souls not to be afraid to approach Me, speak to them of My great mercy. . . . The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness. You always console Me when you pray for sinners. The prayer most pleasing to Me, is prayer for the conversion of sinners. Know, My daughter, that this prayer is always heard and answered. …St Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul, 1396-1397
ADVENT ACTION – With St Augustine we pray, “All my hope lies only in Your great mercy.” So, we turn in repentance and tell of His great love and mercy for us all, sinners though we are!
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 they one day proclaim Your saving acts of kindness in Your eternal kingdom. Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.