December 15, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Third Sunday of Advent

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.”

Reflection (Sem. Daniel Voltaire Hui):

     In the New Testament, Messiah or “Christos” is a title which has become a second name of Jesus, which means “the Anointed One”. For it speaks of the functions of Jesus portrayed in his ministry and even in his infancy, from which the Hebrew language used to define a king or a priest. In similar case, it indicates a person invested by God with special powers and functions. But this is contrary to the Jews understanding, because for them a messiah is someone who is casted with a role of a powerful earthly ruler. Christ as a title of Jesus is not something that he permitted his followers to describe him, but he continuously lived out.

     In the Gospel today, John sent his disciples to Jesus so that they could shed their mistaken notions about the kind of Messiah to expect and come to recognize Jesus. Often times people act according to their titles, where supposedly with or without titles man should act humanely and more so for a Christian. For some, they need to be a politician to be able to help others that is why they will do everything in order to win and have a position even to a point of committing misconduct. This is also true to my own experience when I was still working. I worked hard not only to make a living but also to build my own career and part of it was to have a position. As an employee, I did not settle to be a mediocre but to be the best; however I realized that it did not do me well. There were times I missed a lot of family gatherings and important occasions in our family because of work. My motivation changed my attitude because of the goal of having a title or position. I tried to do everything just to get my desired position even to a point of putting my attitude and sometimes values at stake. Only then I realized that the goal of a person is not to acquire something but to live out his real identity. As a seminarian I could not really say that I have achieved “the end and all” of my identity but as a Christian I could say I am now aware of the things that I should be doing and acting, and this knowledge did not come from a teaching but from a person whom I am trying to imitate, and he is Jesus.

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