During this season of Advent, we find ourselves claiming to wait for God to show up…for the incarnation to take place…for the Kingdom to appear…to take shape. But we wonder, are we really ready for and receptive to whatever actually shows up? Can we let go of our vision of the ideal to receive the reality of Emmanuel?
 
candlesburningIn today’s gospel according to Matthew, John has sent word to inquire whether this Jesus is really “the one.” Now we don’t know what John was expecting…but he had to ask clarifying questions. Jesus alludes to the visions of the prophet Isaiah…the blind will receive sight, the lame will walk, the deaf will hear. As they depart, Jesus turns to the gathered crowds and asks them to consider what they expected in the arrival and proclamation of John the Baptist. Did they expect the voice crying out to be clothed in soft robes? Did they expect preparation to be a light task? How willing were they to listen to this messenger and respond in faith? Is their faith colored by their preconceived notions?
 
Gospel living means that we are charged to take up Jesus’ ministry: helping someone see the goodness in themselves; reaching out to those who feel alienated; encouraging others to hear beneath words communicated-and we help others discover the Christ who dwells in our midst.
 
In Advent, we light one candle after another, watching and waiting. Advent invites us to do the hard work of looking for the Christ, seeing his Presence in his works, becoming that Presence in all we do.
 
 

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