Friday, December 11, 2015 ~ Second Week in the Season of Advent

Saint Damasus I, Pope

 

Holy Gospel: 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.”

 

Meditation: Jesus parable about a group of disappointed musicians and their stubborn friends who refuse to sing or dance at the appropriate occasion challenge us to examine whether we are selective to only hear and do what we want to hear. The young music players in Jesus’ parable react with great dismay because they cannot get anyone to follow their instruction. They complain that if they play their music at weddings, no one will join in their festive song and dance; and if they play mournful tunes and songs at funerals, no one will join in at all. This parable echoes the wisdom of Ecclesiastes 3:4 – “there is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.” And so are you in tune with the message of God’s kingdom? Do you heed God’s words of wisdom and truth and those of Jesus Christ as if your life depended on it? Your very life does depend on it, in case you forgot!

 

Prayer: Grant, we pray, O Lord, that we may constantly exalt the merits of your Martyrs, whom Pope Saint Damasus so venerated and loved. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: What can make us spiritually dull and slow to hear God’s voice? Anything that we let get in-between our relationship with God and his son, Jesus Christ. What is the definition of a noun? A person, place or thing.  Do you let any person, place or thing take a place of prominence in your life over God or Jesus? Your job? Your politicals? Your personal relationships? Any advocacy groups you may belong to or support? Do you have friends or family members who actually lead you away from following Christ and living a life in witness to Christ? Like the generation of Jesus’ time, there are many aspects of our age and time that are marked by indifference and contempt, especially in regards to God, Jesus, and the things of heaven. Indifference dulls our ears to God’s voice and to the Good News of the Gospel. Only the humble of heart can find joy and favor in God’s sight. And so ask yourself – and be honest in your answer – is your life in tune with Jesus’ message of hope and salvation? In this Season of Advent, now is the time to undertake radical conversion of mind and heart, turn away from the ways of the world, and turn back to Christ.  This first step usually begins with making a good confession. In this Year of Mercy, do it!

 

Scripture passages (NAB translation) courtesy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops;

prayers are from The Roman Missal, Catholic Book Publishing, 2011;

information about saints, solemnities, feasts and memorials courtesy of Catholic Culture.

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