Today our gospel story is from Matthew 11:2-11. John the Baptist was the son of a priest of the temple, Zechariah. Therefore he probably had a good knowledge of Scripture and what Scripture meant. John would’ve been looking for a God who was rather stern and even vindictive. We all know that Jesus’ message was always one of gentleness, kindness and goodness. John is confused! He sends his followers to Jesus to ask him point-blank, “Are you the one? Are you the Messiah? Are you the one we have been waiting for?” Jesus replies by telling them to tell John all the good things he is doing, “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.”
Jesus is referencing several passages from the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah’s prediction is full of merciful healing, gentleness and kindness. He also encourages John not to take offense at him. This is a rebuke to John because he did not recognize what Jesus was doing. Remember, Jesus came to John to be baptized. John should have known that Jesus was the Messiah promised in the prophetic literature of the Jewish people. Jesus goes on to tell the people how great John really is but also that the kingdom that is coming is greater than even John the Baptist.
Jesus speaks to us regularly throughout our lives. Those inklings we get to do something kind or enter into prayer or to just contemplate how great God is, are messages from our Lord to encourage us to change our lives and become better people. It’s really not much different from the creation of human beings to John the Baptist to us. God has always wanted us to search them out. Could he be calling us today.
There are some very nice reflection booklets and pamphlets in the Narthex of the church. Please take advantage of these offerings. There will be a community penance service in the Main church @ 7:00 PM on December 17th all are welcome. We will have a number of priests available so things should move along smoothly.
Peace and All Good!