Tuesday, 1st Week of Advent (4th December, 2018)
First Reading: Is 11: 1-10 (Shoot from Jesse’s stump)
Gospel: Lk 10: 21-24 (Jesus rejoices)
God’s proximity with and for the poor, the lowly and the humble is seen throughout the Bible. God’s chosen persons to be his messengers have always been the unknown, the unexpected and unfamiliar figures both in the Old and New Testaments. Similarly, those who accepted his message and did His will too are always the humble and lowly. The examples of this fact are numerous starting from Noah to the apostles or even the saints of our age. This is clearly seen in today’s Gospel where Jesus says, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants” (Lk 10:21).
The analysis of the genealogy of Jesus reveals that the ancestors of Jesus were not heroic or exemplary in any manner. They were for the most part not at all known to the public. Similarly, later we see that the person involved directly or indirectly before and after birth of Jesus the Messiah too are not any famous or well known for any virtues or acts in their locality. All that we see is that they accepted the call of God as it is and obeyed accordingly like Zacharias, Mary Joseph, the three kings, shepherds etc. They had no if’s or but’s, why’s or when’s and so forth. Just as a child would accept the commands of parents without any introspection, they too did. This continues latter too. In the ministry of Jesus too, we come across two sets of people. One was a kind of people who responded to Jesus’ calling or received God’s love and mercy. Another type is those who relying on their own learning in law and traditions could not accept him as Messiah. Therefore, they were not recipients of His grace. Jesus speaks of this in the Sermon on the Mount too.
When we become childlike, we become akin to the situation described in today’s first reading. Today’s first reading speaks of how righteousness will reign when we are endowed with the spirit of the Lord, spirit of wisdom, understanding, knowledge and fear of the Lord. People in such a disposition would never have any enmity with other. The prophet Isaiah speaks of how different beings naturally inimical to each other remain in peace and harmony (Is 11:6-9). So too when people move along with the Spirit of God and act on His counsel, there would not be a situation of aggressor and victim or the killer and the prey. On the other hand, there will be harmony and peace. Such is possible only when in childlike disposition we welcome Jesus in our midst. The divine nature infused in our hearts by the Holy Spirit and evil designs we plan in our mind due to worldly passions are never parallel to each other. On the other hand, they are opposed each other. As it is said, “You can’t have and eat the cake”. So too a grudging mind, a soul at enmity with others can’t accept or welcome messiah in one’s heart. In simple terms, a heart without Christ cannot be at peace with others. Our heart needs to be empty of evil and be filled with divine. As only when a cup is empty you can pour something in it. We need to empty our hearts of all evils one may or one can think of so that you have the Spirit of God enter in it. It is what Jesus tells us, “No once can serve two masters … You cannot serve God and wealth” (Mt 6:24) or “No one (you can’t) puts new wine into old wineskins” (Mk 2:22).
Today all of us wish to do away with enmity, hatred and any evil one may be slave to. This would be possible only when we become docile to the sprit to welcome Jesus with childlike nature. The more and more we accept God’s will in our life, the more we can feel God working in us and the more orderly and harmonious our life will become. Let us pray to the Holy Spirit that we may be open to and welcome his inspiration to welcome Jesus in our heart with happiness and joy. Amen.