The Gospel Today
Thursday of the Second Week of Advent
Jesus said to the crowds:
“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.
From the days of John the Baptist until now,
the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence,
and the violent are taking it by force.
All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John.
And if you are willing to accept it,
he is Elijah, the one who is to come.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Reflection (Sem. Mark Ian V. Abu)
Blessed are those who strive to be true witnesses of God’s words; that is, being good listeners to and doers of the Word of God. This is how it is to be a disciple of Jesus. It is very clear to Jesus that following the will of the Father was the most important thing to do. He knew very well that He was sent to the world in order to fulfill the will of His Father in heaven. It is through this will that we are striving to be faithful disciples of Jesus and witnesses to the truth.
The whole life of Jesus here on earth was a faithful witnessing to that love that He shares with His Father and which emanates through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This love is what Jesus offers when He calls us to be His followers. A love that is ready to witness to the truth by the way we listen to and act on the Word of God. A love that is willing to sacrifice for the good of others.
Our modern world offers many things that would distract us from being faithful witnesses of this great love. People nowadays focus their attention on what will give personal satisfaction. We are becoming engrossed in a lifestyle that answers only our personal longings and ambitions. Moreover, we are normally preoccupied by the things that will make us rich and popular. But these are not the characteristics of being a witness of the Word.
The Gospel reminds us that, as followers of Christ, we should be persons of integrity and strive not to have dichotomy in us. We should hear the Word and do it. Furthermore, we must proclaim Jesus as Lord and obey the will of the Father even if it entails giving up our own life like what St. John the Baptist did.
Let us pray to God that as we prepare for the birth of His Son in our hearts, we may acquire the courage for the truth, like St. John the Baptist, so that at the end of our pilgrimage here on earth we may be included among those who are great in the Kingdom of Heaven.