Scripture: Lectionary 179. Dec.5. Isaiah 26:1-6. Psalm 118:1.8-9.19-21. 25-27. Matthew 7:21. 24-27.
In listening to what Jesus says in today’s selection from St. Matthew, it is clear that Jesus wants us to be wisdom people by really paying attention with hearing his words and what they mean for us today. We are to listen with the ears of our heart (St.Benedict) and to wisely put into practice what we hear from our Lord. When we do this then we accomplish the will of the Father and thus are brothers, sisters, and even “mother” to Jesus as he himself tells us in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This means that during Advent we are to realize that Jesus is present and among us each day through his words. We are thus Advent people who not only await the presence of the Lord now but also in his future coming.
Several of the saints have made mention that his coming, that is his presence among us is trans-temporal, that is, we have shared it in the past, in the now of the present moment and in the final days at his Parousia (which also means presence). St. Bernard of Clairvaux imitates Cyprian of Carthage in speaking of the three comings or presences of the Lord. Bernard writes, “In his first coming our Lord came in our flesh and weakness; in his middle coming he comes in spirit and in power; in the final coming he will be seen in glory and majesty.”
I am interpreting the Gospel as speaking to us about the middle coming or our present moments. Jesus tells us, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him.” We are to keep these words of God and Jesus that we hear each day in Advent in the depths of our hearts. If we keep the words of Jesus in this way, it enters into our very being and our words and actions. It takes possessions of our desires and our whole way of life.
I believe Jesus is present now in our hearts (the kingdom of God is within you) and thus we can be confident that we have heard his words and then do them and put them into our daily lives. This is possible because as John has told us, “The Word became flesh and dwells among us and we have seen his glory.” Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.