December 16, 2020 – 3rd Week in Advent

“Regulating our lives to the Commands of the Lord to see that life is a beautiful miracle – at all times, at all moments!”

(Based on Is 45:6b-8,18,21b-25 and Lk 7:19-23 – Wednesday of the 3rd Week in Advent, Year B)

There is an interesting cartoon that appeared in the newspapers…

This cartoon shows a fourth-class boy, looking intently to his class teacher.

Behind them, stares a blackboard – covered with mathematics problems, which the boy has not finished.
(The teacher is apparently very upset that the boy has not completed solving the problems)

With a rare insight, the boys says: “Well, I’m not an underachiever.

You are an over-expecter!”

The cartoon throws light on an interesting human dimension: many times, we have high levels of expectations but what we achieve in life often falls short of our expectation.

We expect many things from our relationships…
… but when what we actually achieve becomes low, we get disappointed.

We expect life to bless us with many good things…
… but when what we actually achieve is less, we feel sad.

The Gospel of the Day presents this dimension that was experienced by Jesus – being considered an under-achiever, since He did not fulfil the “required and likely expectations”

The Gospel begins with the verse, “And John (the Baptist), calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord saying, ‘ Are you He Who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Lk 7:19)

John the Baptist had come preaching with much zeal and fervour.

There was fire in him…
There was blaze in his spirit…

His words testify to this aspect:

“Therefore, every tree that does not bear good fruit, will be cut down and thrown into the fire” (Mt 3:10)
“You brood of vipers! Who asked you to flee from the coming wrath?” (Lk 3:7)

He had received a mandate to “be the voice of the one crying in the wilderness” (Jn 1: 23)…
… to prepare the way for the Messiah, by making the paths straight
… to prepare the people with the strong message of repentance and warning of the judgment to come

He expected Jesus – the Messiah…
… to set afire the world with the might of judgement
… to come with fury and force and establish the Kingdom of God (Mt 3: 12)

But as the ministry of Jesus progressed…

John’s expectations were not being fulfilled, in the way he thought.

Jesus epitomized love…
… though judgement was surely warned, with respect to sin

Jesus embodied compassion…
… though fury was seen with respect to obstinacy in sin

The style of the ministry of Jesus was contrary to what John expected!

And so word was sent to ask Jesus, “Are you the One Who is to come, or should we look for another?” (Lk7: 20)

Many times, in our lives, we too experience such unfulfilled expectations.

This is true not only in our relationships with one another or with the blessings of life, but even with God!

We have sometimes a set pattern of the way God should work…
We have sometimes a rigid understanding of the Providence of God…

A sickness or an illness strikes our family…
A disaster or a calamity hits our life…
A painful tragedy or an unexpected mishap happens…
A prayer remains unanswered for ages or a sin remains stuck for years…

And…
… we begin to lose hope
… we have our minds filled with doubts
… we begin to question the Power of God

As humans, all these things are understandable and even quite natural.

But the call of the Gospel is to “open our eyes and see the wonders that the Lord does, every moment of our lives”
“… the blindness of our sin being restored, with the sight of forgiveness
…. the lame excuses of our laziness being challenged, to walk with enthusiasm
… the leprosy of our indifference being touched, to allow us to extend generosity
… the deafness of our insensitivity being opened, to hear the cries of the needy
… the dead hopes of our lives being given a fresh lease of life to spur us towards eternity
… the poverty of our hearts being filled with the richness of God’s glorious blessings and grace”
(Cf Lk 7:22)

Yes…
When we open our eyes, with the power of the Holy Spirit, we realise the wonders that God keeps doing in our lives…
… Every moment… at every step of our life!

Prophet Isaiah very powerfully reminds us: “For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!). I am the Lord, and there is no other.

Perhaps, sometimes we are “over-expecters”

Expecting God to work
… in the way we want
… in the time that we want

But the Lord looks at us and is perhaps telling us:
“I am no under-achiever!

Tune your hearts to My Will…
Alter your minds to My Thoughts…
Regulate your lives to My Commands…
… and you will see…
Life is a beautiful miracle… at all times… at all moments!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice!”

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