Preparation Pays

December 15, 2016
Thursday of the Third Week in Advent
The Gospel Today
Luke 7:24-30

When the messengers of John the Baptist had left,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John.
“What did you go out to the desert to see B a reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine garments?
Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously
are found in royal palaces.
Then what did you go out to see?
A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom Scripture says:

Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
he will prepare your way before you.

I tell you,
among those born of women, no one is greater than John;
yet the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.”
(All the people who listened, including the tax collectors,
who were baptized with the baptism of John,
acknowledged the righteousness of God;
but the Pharisees and scholars of the law,
who were not baptized by him,
rejected the plan of God for themselves.)

REFLECTION (Sem. Maximilian B. Estayo)

“…he will prepare your way before you.”

One of my biggest challenges as a seminarian – I guess this is also true with every seminarian – is academics. Since we do a lot of things in the seminary and the academics is just one facet of our rather complex formation, I try to plan ahead in my review, especially during exam periods and considering my not so robust memory.
It works in that I only need to refresh my memory the day or night before exam day. Whenever I fail to anticipate and do advance work, I do not do well in the exams.

Before Jesus came into the world, John was sent ahead to “prepare the way” for the former. See, even God makes preparations and does not act in haste, He being a God of order. Besides, it would be too much for the sinful man to take suddenly the truth about the Lord. He needs to be given signs and clues before the big deal, so that he himself can prepare to meet the Lord.

Yet still it is a sign of God’s love for us that He does not surprise us in terms of our salvation. If He appears today without any warning, would we be able to stand in judgment? Not likely.
As a seminarian, I truly value the importance of preparations and it helps that we are being taught that discipline early on. The whole priestly formation is itself a big preparation, because the Church has no need of half-baked, half-grown clerics. We face a complicated mission. So, the more I practice good preparation now, the better I would be equipped to handle the ministry that could be given me one day.

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