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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Thursday 3th of Advent

Gospel text (Lk 7,24-30): When John's messengers had gone, Jesus began speaking to the people about John. And He said, «What did you want to see when you went to the desert? A tall reed blowing in the wind? What was there to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? But people who wear fine clothes and enjoy delicate food are found in palaces. What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. For John is the one foretold in Scripture in these words: I am sending my messenger ahead of you to prepare your ways. No one may be found greater than John among those born of women but, I tell you, the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

All the people listening to him, even the tax collectors, had acknowledged the will of God in receiving the baptism of John, whereas the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, in not letting themselves be baptized by him, ignored the will of God.

«What did you want to see when you went to the desert?»

Fr. Carles ELÍAS i Cao (Barcelona, Spain)

Today, three times Jesus Christ asks us: «What did you want to see when you went to the desert?»; «What was there to see?»; «What did you go out to see?» (Lk 7:24.25.26).

Today, Jesus seems to want us to get rid of that eagerness of ours for a futile curiosity, of the arrogance the Pharisees and Masters of the Law showed by looking down upon God's plans for them by ignoring John's call (cf. Lk 7:30). We realize that only our “knowledge of God” will not save us; we must know Him, love Him and follow Him; we need a response from deep inside us, sincere, humble, grateful.

«And all the people when they heard, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John» (Lk 7:29): now comes the time for salvation. As St. John Crysostom preached, now is not the time to be examined, but the time of forgiving. Now and today is the right time; God is coming near and nearer each time, because He is good, He is just and He knows us well, and therefore He is full of a love that forgives; because, every evening He waits for us, returning home, to embrace us.

And He offers us the gift of his forgiveness and his presence; He breaks whatever distance between us; He knocks at our door. Humble, patient, now He knocks at your heart: in your desert, in your loneliness, in your failings, in your incapacity, He wants you to see his loving.

We must leave behind our comfort and luxury and face reality as it is: disturbed by consumerism and selfishness we have forgotten what God is expecting from us. He wants our love; He wants us for Him; He wants us truly poor and simple, to be able to give us the news that, despite everything, we are still awaiting: —I am with you, do not be afraid, trust me.

Looking inside us, we may now say in a quiet voice: —O Lord, you know me and accept me as I am; open my heart to your presence; I wish to accept your love, I wish to welcome you, now that you are coming in silence and peace.