The Son of Man Comes with Wisdom

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Friday of the Second Week of Advent

 

Matthew 11:16-19

Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”

 

Opening Prayer: Lord God, thank you for the Church. Thank you for this season of Advent to prepare for your coming. Grant me the spirit of Wisdom which teaches me to open my heart to Christ this Christmas.

 

Encountering Christ:

 

  1. Times and Seasons: What a gift we have as Catholics in the liturgical calendar! It’s as if the Church tells us, “Now is the time to dance” or “Now is the time to mourn.” She proposes for us times and seasons in which we attune our sentiments to the sentiments of Christ: repentance and expectation during Advent, humility and joy at Christmas, penance, and mercy in Lent, and a grand celebration during the Easter season. We can thus walk step in step with the Church, living the principal mysteries of our faith throughout the year in an atmosphere of communion and solidarity with our fellow Christians. Through the liturgical seasons–and our faith-filled living of them–hearts are united, the Church is built up, and charity increases. “Wisdom is vindicated by her works!”

 

  1. Minding Our Own Business: There are some sourpuss Christians who dismiss ascetics like John and consider joyful Christians like Christ “Pollyannas.” Perhaps this tendency takes root when we sit idly like a child in the marketplace calling out to passersby. It’s all too easy these days to fall into the trap, so common on social media, of stating our opinion about every little thing, whether or not our advice has been solicited. St. Paul reminds us, “We hear that some are…not keeping busy but minding the business of others. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food” (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12).

 

  1. Jesus, Friend of Sinners: What was hurled at Christ as an insult is in reality his glory: Jesus is the friend of tax collectors and sinners. “Jesus, Friend of Sinners”; what a beautiful title! Jesus, therefore, is my friend. He is no friend to sin, but he has pity on me, a poor sinner. He who knew not sin took on my sins and the sins of the whole world in order to vanquish sin and set free all sinners. This is why he came to earth. This is why he comes this Christmas. December 25 means the arrival of our heavenly friend, the innocent babe in the manger who comes to save as many of his friends as possible.

 

Conversing with Christ: Jesus Christ, Wisdom of the Father, have mercy on me, a sinner. Teach me to follow after you as a true disciple, and grant me the grace to see my brothers and sisters for what they really are—your dear friends!

 

Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will think well of those who irritate me and show them kindness.

 

For Further Reflection: Father Marko Rupnik’s book Discernment: Acquiring the Heart of God is a great resource for discerning times and seasons and moments of grace in our lives. It’s also an invaluable aid in understanding the subtleties of a deep friendship with Jesus. 

Written by Br. Erik Burckel, LC.

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