Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11:16-19
Optional Memorial of St. Damasus I, Pope
Does Jesus sound a bit exasperated in today’s gospel? The people cannot hear His music or His song. With the coming of His birth in just a few weeks, Christmas music is all around us. But are we really listening to Him?
In any number of ways, many invitations to encounter God are being offered, but people are not open to His coming. Jesus seems to be comparing it to musicians playing inspiring music, lovers singing songs of the heart like the angels’ choirs on that first Christmas night, and dancers moving with grace. All His Beauty was being proposed on that Silent Night so that people might have joy, but no one is catching the message and no one is responding! It was the same in Jesus’ adult years on earth. Those who are coming in the name of God are observed eating or not eating, drinking or not drinking, and either way are judged as demonic or sinner. No matter what Jesus or His disciples were doing, they must be up to no good. It must have been a moment of sadness for Our Lord, who so desired for this generation to hear His voice and the love song He’d been singing ever since His birth. And imagine if someone were to hear and have faith in the sweet music and feel moved in body and in spirit to respond. Others might think these “dancers” insane.
Jesus ends his remarks by saying wisdom will prevail. Wisdom is the first and highest gift of the Holy Spirit because it is the perfection of the theological virtue of faith. Through wisdom, we come to value all that is revealed to us through faith. Our senses are open to the Beauty that is offered us in the manger. The truths of Christian faith are more important to us than the things of this world, or what others may think of us. Wisdom helps us untwist our disordered relationship to the created world so that loving creation becomes for the sake of God alone, rather than for its own sake. God in all His glory and beauty will be known. Though we must be patient with the off-key misinterpretations of His song, it is our hope that His coming will lead us eventually to the freedom required to sing and to dance in harmony with Him.
How can I keep singing with joy this Advent, as I hope in my Savior’s coming to be one with us? Am I having difficulty hearing His melodious voice because of the noise or materialism of the created world, especially during this preparation for the Christmas season?
Lord Jesus, my Savior, may wisdom prevail over me during this Advent season. I pray for more faith in You so that I can hear your voice and respond with my own song and dance. Might I remember, too, the gift of silence in a world so distracted by noise. Come, Lord Jesus, and let us sing Christmas praise!
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Cynthia Ann Costello