Daily Reflection for Thursday, December 09 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link:
Thursday of the Second Week of Advent | USCCB
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Isaiah 41;13-20
Responsorial: Psalm 145: 1, 9-13ab
Gospel: Matthew 11:11-15
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. Matthew 11:12
When I was a very young boy, a family friend from Canada gifted me with a handmade book about angels. Despite my youth, I remember easily appreciating both the time it took her to hand paint the pictures and to write accompanying messages in the 25-page book. I still have it and have never forgotten that initial introduction which encouraged connection and reliance on my guardian angel for guidance while warning constant vigilance against the indefatigable forces of evil that come in so many different shapes and forms, always eroding and sometimes frankly blocking relationship with God. (Think of the capital sins of pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and acedia in as much as they engender other sins.)
In the past I’ve conveniently ignored the particular verse above because I find it difficult to understand. In considering it for today, biblical commentary wondered if the above notion of violence could be considered in a less literal sense (though, regrettably, actual violence is so ubiquitous) and instead be meant in a more practical, obstructive sense. What if the violence and force mentioned regarding opponents of Jesus’s Truth (and our own role, too) refers to the active work seeking to prevent us from accepting it? If the Kingdom of God has been promised to each one of us, it is always within OUR grasp and no free-will decision but our own can affect it.
John the Baptist made way for the Lord. He warned and attempted to remove obstacles in anticipation of the coming of the Messiah. This season of Advent invites removal of distractions which represent obstructed vision or distraction from an openness to listen and focus on what ultimately matters most which is an open, yearning soul waiting for the coming of the infant King.
He. Is. Coming.