Are You the One...?
Is Jesus the one we expect, or should we look to another? John the Baptist, who preached to us last Sunday, did so from the freedom of the desert, where people came to him to receive the baptism of repentance. This Sunday, we read from Matthew 11, where John the Baptist addresses us from the dungeon of Herod's prison. The Baptist is confused because he has a different mind of how God's Messiah would manifest his lordship.
The Jesus we expect is already in our midst, yet we do not recognize him. Therefore, we must be attentive to his presence already in our midst. John heard all Jesus was doing and still asked if he was the one. The report about the work of Christ has filtered into John's ears in prison. John, in chains, sends his disciples to ascertain if Jesus is the true Messiah. Jesus sends words to John through his disciples: "Go tell John what you see and hear: 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 preached to them."
Jesus was saving people; he was healing both body and soul. An imprisoned John is not witnessing this, but that does not mean Jesus is not at work. Like John the Baptist, we may not be seeing the wondrous works of Jesus, but Jesus is still doing his work of redemption. It may not fit our perspective or expectation because we are yet to align our minds with Jesus' mind. Nevertheless, Jesus is fulfilling the promise of salvation in manifested healings and saving grace around us. There are many testimonies; look around carefully.
In the days that follow, let us wait patiently but joyfully for the coming of Jesus. He comes to heal and save us. He comes with his mercy and healing for those who wait patiently in faith. Are you joyfully expecting Jesus to perform his healing and saving grace in your life? You should.
Please plan to be at all the healing opportunities scheduled for this weekend in our parish: Parish Penance Service on Friday, Worship Night on Saturday, and Advent Journey of Hope on Sunday. Expect Jesus to heal your body and soul at these spiritual encounters.
Fr. Bernard, OP