Thursday, December 17, 2009

Are you There?

Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another? (Luke 7:19)

Perhaps most of us, in times of trial, have posed this question in our hearts. Our prayers seem to go unheard, and at times God’s providence appears to be working against us.

Facing this same situation, John the Baptist sent two of his disciples to pose this question to his kinsman, Jesus of Nazareth. He had called Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and now he found himself in the dungeon of a ridiculous but dangerous political buffoon. Could something so banal and so unjust happen to the one sent to prepare the way of the Messiah?

The incredible answer is yes. And worse was yet in store. Soon John would lose his life at the whim of a wicked woman, who has the singular distinction of being the only really wicked woman in the whole Gospel, which has a large contingent of wicked men.

The response of Jesus to John’s honest questions should be one of our Advent meditations: Blessed is he who finds no stumbling-block in Me, who is not scandalized by My apparent inability to help (see Lk 7:23). While clearly indicating that He is the Messiah, the one who is to come, Jesus also lets John know what we all need to know – that God’s providence does not conduct the world like a puppet show. Human beings have freedom, marred as it is by weakness and ignorance. We can do good or evil, and God will not stop us.

Long before this event, John as an unborn child leaped in his mother’s womb when the unborn Messiah came to visit his home. But now evil is here. An evil far greater and more powerful than the idiotic Herod. The powers of darkness are present. This clash of good and evil will cost John his mortal life, as it will soon bring Jesus of Nazareth to His terrible death. But blessed is he who does not stumble at the apparent weakness of God, because as Christ tells us through Saint Paul: “My power is made perfect in weakness” (2Cor 12:9).

I have often, Lord, felt like John. I wondered where You were or if You cared to help me. It probably will happen again. Give me Your Holy Spirit that I may remain faithful like John. You have called him a blazing and shining light (see Jn 5:35). Help me, that my faith may give some little light to those around me. Amen
Behold, He Comes – Meditations on the Incarnation, by Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.

No comments:

Post a Comment