Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11,2-11
When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ, he sent his disciples to Jesus
with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written: ‘Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.’
Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Peace to all my brothers and sisters listening in today
Imprisoned. Curve Balls. Hope
- Imprisoned. When I read the Gospel for today I asked myself what’s wrong with this picture? On a day the church celebrates Gaudete Sunday, a word which commands us to rejoice, we hear about John the Baptist the greatest man born of woman, a man who dedicated his entire life to God was -now in jail, behind bars. Maybe he was asking himself the same question. What’s wrong with this picture? Life doesn’t always go the way we want. We often find ourselves in circumstances that we really can’t make sense of. Situations that not only confuse us but can cause us to question ourselves and even God.
- Curve balls. These curve balls that life throws us when we expect one thing and get another can alienate us and result in a faith crisis. John like many of the Jews was waiting for a Messiah that was supposed to usher in a new kingdom that would liberate the Jews from bondage and overthrow the Roman empire. But that’s not what happened. John is left alone looking through his prison bars asking Where is the messiah and the kingdom he promised? And honestly after two thousand years of Christianity we might ask ourselves the same question. Why are there still wars hatred crime corruption greed sickness disease and more personally why is it that my heart can still harbor anger jealousy greed, pride etc.? The problem is we are like John: sometimes feeling abandoned forgotten confused and alone Why? because we, like John, are imprisoned by our own limited conception of God and His kingdom. We judge things according to human standards. We ask Why is God allowing this tragedy, or suffering? Why doesn’t God act the way I want God to act? I don’t understand it? And It usually goes one of two ways. Either we get really angry with God and reject him or even choose not to believe in him anymore OR we stop and step back to reflect on what Jesus says to John today.
“The blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
- Hope- Jesus is saying that in the midst of all the suffering we see and experience, God’s kingdom is present. The greatest challenge to our faith is almost always suffering because it is the most difficult to reconcile with an all loving God, and yet Jesus challenges us to be patient and trust in Him and look to the seeds of the kingdom all around us which are signs of hope. He is asking us to believe despite our circumstances and trust in His plan. The weed grow with the wheat but in the end Jesus will sort them all out. Which reminds me of a great expression that in the end everything will be okay and if it’s not okay it’s not the end.
May God bless you and the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy spirit
Always remember heaven is our goal