It’s a simple question, even a familiar one. So I ask you, “What do you want for Christmas?”
At first you might answer that you would like a particular object, such as a sweater or a specific book. Besides these physical gifts, on another level, what else would you like? Now you might answer that you would like the easing of some financial burdens, or the reconciliation between members of your family, or the physical healing of someone you love. Here the needs and desires are much more precious.
But let me ask one more time, in the depths of your heart, what else do you want for Christmas? Here lie the often unspoken desires of your heart and my heart: the need to be known and loved unconditionally, the desire for fullness of life for ourselves, those we love and even the world. Here lies within ourselves the need to be saved and thus to be in love with the One who loved us into being.
In Luke’s gospel today, John the Baptist asks two of Jesus’ disciples to ask the Lord, “Are you ‘he who is to come’ or are we to expect someone else?” Notice the significance of what John asks and the attitude of his heart in the asking.
Here is John, asking the deepest question that lies in the human heart, “Are you ‘The One’ I long for? Are you ‘The One’ who will fill our hearts and save us?” The question is bold and direct, and his attitude is one of humility, betraying the heart of one sincerely seeking the Messiah.
And Jesus is eager to answer him.
“Jesus gave this response: “Go and report to John what you
have seen and heard. The blind recover their sight, cripples walk,
lepers are cured, the deaf hear, dead men are raised to life, and the
poor have the good news preached to them.”
In other words, “Yes, I am the One you long for, the One who has come to save you and to make all things new---for nothing is impossible with God.”
This Gospel invites us into acknowledging our deepest desires, and then, with the boldness and humility of John, to tell Jesus what lies deep within. He is eager to fulfill our deepest “wish list” for, in fact, He already has!
May we, with Mary, be eager to receive Him into our hearts!
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