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Gospel text (Mt 11,13-19):
Jesus spoke to the crowds: "Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the marketplace, about whom their companions complain: ‘We played the flute for you but you would not dance. We sang a funeral-song but you would not cry!’. For John came fasting and people said: ‘He is possessed’. Then the Son of Man came, he ate and drank, and people said: ‘Look at this man! A glutton and drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’. Yet the outcome will prove Wisdom to be right".
"To what can I compare the people of this day?"
Today, we should be distraught before the Lord’s sigh: "To what can I compare the people of this day?" (Mt 11:16). Jesus is overwhelmed by our heart, more often than not, nonconforming and ungrateful. We are never fulfilled; we are complaining all the time. We even dare to blame Him for all the things that disturb us.
"Yet the outcome will prove Wisdom to be right" (Mt 11:19): it suffices to just look at the Christmas mystery. But what about us? how is our faith? Could it be that our complaints are actually harboring the nonexistence of our reply? A very appropriate query for the time of Advent!
God comes to our encounter, but man —especially the present-day man— hides out from Him. Some, as Herod, are really afraid of Him. Others are even harassed by his simple presence: "Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!» (Jn 19:15). Jesus «is the God-who-comes" (Benedict XVI) and we look like "the-man-who-goes away": "He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him" (Jn 1:11).
Why do we run away? Because of our lack of meekness. Saint John the Baptist recommended us to "dwindle". And the Church reminds us so, every time the Advent comes. We must, therefore, become as little children to be able to understand and receive the "Little God". He appears in front of us with the humility of his swaddling-clothes: never before a “God-wrapped-in-swaddling clothes” had been preached! We project a ridiculous image before God when we try to conceal ourselves with pretexts and dishonest explanations. Already at the dawn of humanity, Adam blamed Eve; Eve blamed the snake..., after all the centuries gone by, we remain just the same.
Jesus-God, however, is coming: in the cold and the poverty of Bethlehem he neither admonished nor rebuked us. On the contrary! He begins to load his small shoulders with the weight of all our faults. Should we, then, be afraid of Him? Will our apologies be truly worth before this "Little-God"? «God’s sign is the Baby: we learn to live with him and to practice with him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love» (Benedict XVI).
Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Audio: Friday 2nd of Advent
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