Daily Reflection
December 9th, 2004
Brigid Quinn Laquer
Preventive Medicine
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Jesus tells us “Whoever has ears ought to hear” (Mt 11:15) at the end of the Gospel today.  So what are we hearing?  Are we even listening? 

Today I hear Jesus saying that John the Baptist is the greatest person born of woman, but even the least of the Kingdom is greater than he. (Mt 11:11-12)  John the Baptist testified to the imminence of the kingdom of God.  Jesus is telling him, his disciples, the people in the crowd around him and, most of all, us that the kingdom is here and now and we are all called to work for the kingdom.  Yet Jesus says that the kingdom suffers violence and that the violent are taking it by force” (Mt 11:12).  So what are we to do?

Last Sunday Isaiah told us that we are buds from the root of Jesse and that we must bloom.  He tells us that the Spirit of the Lord rests on each of us and we have received wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, awe and piety (Is 11:1-3).  We believe that we receive these gifts of the Spirit in confirmation and we become ‘soldiers’ of Christ.  I am hearing today that we have the personal responsibility to actively work for the kingdom with kindness, honesty, humility and with a genuine devotion to the Truth.

Our response to the Psalm today supports this idea.  It reminds us that God and God’s kingdom are about: graciousness, compassion, tolerance and great kindness.  Yet, that is not what Jesus saw in his day and it certainly is not what we see in our day.  Our reading from Isaiah today promises God’s help in working for God’s kingdom.  “Fear not, I will help you” (Is 41:13).  I will provide all you need to refresh and comfort you on your way through the desert; water for your thirst, tall trees for shade (acacia) and plants for food (olive) and worship (myrtle) (Is 41:18-19).

Isaiah foretold, John expected and Jesus confirmed that the kingdom of God is among us (Lk 17:21).  We have been given all the tools to achieve God’s kingdom here on earth.  It is God’s will that we let that “little light” shine for all the world to see.  God will provide the courage, strength and renewal we need because it will take many people, much time and energy, and most of all faith, hope and love to realize God’s kingdom here ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’  We must think out-of-the-box of Jesus coming on clouds to save us and begin to think that it is our responsibility to respond to the many gifts God has given us by putting our efforts toward creating a world that reflects God to everyone. 

This Advent may we wake up and prepare room for God in our hearts and in our world so that God’s reign of justice, peace and love may come to men and women of all races and languages and the earth will be filled with God’s glory.  “Whoever has ears ought to hear.”


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