Posts Tagged ‘(Matthew 11:2-11)’

Recognizing the Glory of God

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

On this 3rd Sunday in Advent, we receive messages of hope and patience, and a proclaimation of Christ’s divinity from Matthew.

Isaiah (35:1-6a, 10), is sending a much needed  message of hope to a people whose homeland has been conquered by the Babylonians and the Assyrians, whose temple has been destroyed and whose citizens are in exile in Babylon.

Isaiah says to those whose hearts are frightened: “Be strong, fear not!”  How often do we need to hear and believe these very words ourselves? I find it reassuring to repeat this message to myself each and every day. Isaiah gives them clear signs of how to recognize the glory of the Lord,

“Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,

the ears of the deaf be cleared;

then will the lame leap like a stag,

then the tongue of the mute will sing.”

In the Letter of Saint James (James 5:7-10), he is preparing the people for the coming (return) of Jesus Christ. At that time, people expected Jesus to return during the lifetime of Jesus’ contemporaries.  Because we all get antsy when we’re waiting for someone to arrive, James is reminding us all of the virtue of patience.

He also sends us a direct message as we prepare for Jesus’ arrival on Christmas, “Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another, that you may not be judged.” Especially during the busy holiday season, many of us are exhausted and begin directing our frustrations outward toward others. James is gently reminding us to stop complaining, be grateful at all times and that there is only one who is supposed to judge and “the Judge is standing before the gates.”

In Matthew’s gospel (Matthew 11:2-11), John the Baptist is in prison and sends his disciples to Jesus with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”   Because John was in prison before Jesus’ public ministry, he’s dependent upon his disciples for proof that Jesus is “the one.”

Jesus responds to the disciples using the signs that were proclaimed in today’s reading from Isaiah.  Jesus says,

“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.”

By responding using the sings that Isaiah wrote about, Jesus is sending a loud and clear message to John (and to us) that he is in fact the one. Matthew is claiming Jesus’ divinity.

As we approach Christmas, you and I can remind ourselves to be patient in all that we say and in all that we do as we wait for Jesus’ coming.   We pray for the grace to remain nonjudgmental at all times for we know that there is only one who is to judge.  We remain confident in the knowledge that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again!

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