Daily Reflection for Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Peace and Blessings, friends and parishioners!
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First reading: Isaiah 45:6c-8, 18, 21c-25
Responsorial: Psalm 85:9ab and 10-14
Gospel: Luke 7:18b-23q
Our reflection on Wednesday's reading:
Are you the one who is to come . . . ? Luke 7:20b
In today's gospel, John the Baptist—now in prison—sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He is indeed “the one,” the long-awaited Messiah. Jesus is John's cousin, and while he was yet in the womb, John leapt for joy at their pre-birth encounter. But despite his own prophetic spirit and faithfulness, John still wonders if this cousin, His own flesh and blood, is really the Messiah.
Jesus’ response to John’s followers was to direct them to what they had seen Him do. They had witnessed His healings of body and spirit that were indeed beyond human understanding, taking them and us into the mystery where the miracle of incarnation dwells.
My own transforming experience of incarnation came while visiting a Resurrectionist pilgrim site in Quebec. At Saint-Anne-de-Beaupré, there were multiple Masses every day. Only one was in English (Quebec is a French speaking province). All Masses were followed by an opportunity to venerate a relic of Saint Anne.
Veneration of a relic was beyond my experience and understanding as a convert to Catholicism. So I would respectfully leave the church at this point, until one day I was asked to be the reader for the service. The readings and the prayers of the people were very powerful for me that day. My spirit was stirred and open.
At the conclusion of the Mass, the young deacon—who had invited me to read—stepped in front of me and asked if I would like to venerate the relic which he held before me. I honestly told him I did not know how to venerate a relic. He suggested that I just touch it or kiss it. I kissed it. Suddenly I was unable to move being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. It was a wonderful experience. As I slowly returned to a more normal state, I realized that this relic of Saint Anne was a relic of Jesus’ grandma.
Jesus had a grandmother, the mother of Mary. I began to understand the incarnation in a new way, more deeply, perceiving that in His humanity, Jesus really knew me and our human experience. I knew in a new way that not only was my Lord the Son of God, but He had fully experienced with love and empathy what you and I live and breathe.
Prayer: Dear Lord, in this Advent season, open our hearts to know the deeper meaning of your coming. Help us to trust you, for you know the depth of our joy and pain and bring miracles into our brokenness. Come Lord Jesus! Amen