Greetings on this the Friday of the Third Week in Advent
Readings: Is 56:1-3a, 6-8; Ps 67:2-3, 5, 7-8; Jn 5:33-36
Notes: I dedicate this homily to a very caring and beautiful person who in her blog posts challenges us to be authentic in our thinking and authentic in our reaction to the Other.
The Lord calls us to be authentic in ourselves and authentic when encountering others.
The Pharisees and scribes who approached John the Baptist approached John with skepticism and curiosity, rightly, I think. There are plenty of charlatans in this world. But that is only ever a starting point.
- In some cases, John was immediately seen as the A voice of one crying out ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths and the baptism of repentance took place.
- In some cases, John was convincing conversion immediate so and baptism of repentence took place.
- In other cases, John chastised those who approached for their inauthentic questions and excessive skepticism and yet they submitted to the baptism of repentance with the warning from John, Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
- In the final categorical cases, John chastised those who approached for their inauthentic questions and excessive skepticism and they refused the plan of God for them and no baptism of repentance took place.
In the end, it is our choice to be Authentic or Inauthentic, in particular in our relations.
What is authentic?
- Act upon the response.
From the first reading:
- Observe (listen).
- Do (respond).
- Act justly or unjustly.
Everything else is drama.
In our gospel portion, Jesus is framed in the same way. After his third ‘sign’, the Pharisees and scribes approached Jesus with skepticism and curiosity. Jesus replies with very concrete observation.
John offered repentance and performed no miracles. Jesus offered even more:
- House of prayer (that is relation)
- For all, not some.
Thus says the LORD: Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed.
Let not the foreigner say, when he would join himself to the LORD, “The LORD will surely exclude me from his people.”
For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
O God, let all the nations praise you!
Come, Lord, bring us your peace that we may rejoice before you with a perfect heart.
The gospel of John’s narrative contains a series of “signs”. Signs are the gospel’s word for the wondrous deeds of Jesus.
Just after the healing, at the pool at Bethesda, of a man crippled for 38 years, Jesus said:
John was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.
Peace be with you,