November 29, 2022
by Cindy Murphy McMahon
Creighton University's Office of Marketing and Communications
click here for photo and information about the writer

First Tuesday of Advent
Lectionary: 176

Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
Luke 10:21-24

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Sometimes it’s just nice to totally relish all three Scripture readings for a given day, whether you read them privately or hear them at Mass.

Sure, there are times we need to be pushed out of our comfort zones, or chided, or confused by Scripture, but it is a gift when the words lift our spirits and make our hearts sing. And today’s readings are that kind of gift.

The first reading from Isaiah is as beautiful as a piece of poetry as it is prophetic about Jesus coming into the world.

“Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.”

How better could you describe the peace that Christ brings to one’s heart, to one’s life and outlook?

And the Responsorial Psalm – “Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more” – brings sweet reminders of the hope upon which our faith rests.

The words of Jesus in the gospel of Luke are calming and joyful, as he talks to God the Father and his followers:

“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike. 
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. 
All things have been handed over to me by my Father. 
No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
Turning to the disciples in private he said,
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 
For I say to you,
many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

Sometimes, when life can be so hectic, and the world can be filled with so much strife and ugliness, it’s just nice to remember and experience the peace, the joy, the hope that our faith in Jesus gives us.

Reflecting on these readings, I couldn’t help but think about a television series I have recently begun watching, “The Chosen.” I have heard it mentioned in passing and a couple people have recommended it to me, but I never got around to viewing it until last week.

I have seen most of the major films and television productions about Christ that have come out in my lifetime. Most of them have captured parts of Jesus’ life and mission with varying degrees of success and/or distinctiveness, and the portrayals of Jesus have been mostly good or OK, some better than others.

But “The Chosen,” to me, hits the right mark in getting across the charisma and leadership abilities Jesus must have had in order to attract followers who were willing to leave all to follow him. For once, the humanity of Jesus is portrayed as real and relatable. He was gifted, he was holy, he was the Son of God, sure, but he also was a man who was clever, friendly, empathetic, and fun to be around. He radiated peacefulness and joy and compassion, and people were attracted to that.

The series is on Amazon Prime Video, but it is accessible on many platforms for free as well, as I discovered by doing a Google search. I hope you get a chance to experience it because it’s not often that the hope, the joy and the truth of the Gospel all make it onto the big screen in an honest way. And just like today’s readings, that is a gift to be relished.

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