13.12.2019 — Pay heed to Wisdom

Posted under Reflections on December 12th, 2019 by

2nd week of Advent, Friday – 13th December 2019 — Gospel: Mt 11,16-19

Pay heed to Wisdom

Jesus complains that his contemporaries have not listened and decided wisely. Evangelists’ final remark makes it clear, that God’s wisdom is demonstrated in the actions of John, and more especially in the actions of Jesus the Messiah. If they continue to reject the salvation being offered, they must know that they are rejecting God’s providential design. Thus these contemporaries, who are self-willed, inconsistent, and never satisfied, have chosen to stay outside God’s chosen people, for they lack genuine wisdom. Yet, in the face of this widespread rejection and apparent failure, God will see Jesus being justified. Apparently, here ‘wisdom’ refers to God’s plan of salvation; but the reference is also to Jesus, who is the incarnation and embodiment of God’s wisdom. For He is God’s emissary sent to reveal God’s ways. To reject Him is to reject God (10,33). His deeds disclose his identity to those few (9,37) who can discern it (11,2-6). Certainly those who listen to and pay heed to wisdom will find life and favour from the Lord (Prov 8,32-9,6).

12.12.2019 — John pre-figured Elijah

Posted under Reflections on December 11th, 2019 by

2nd week of Advent, Thursday – 12th December 2019 — Gospel: Mt 11,11-15

John pre-figured Elijah

Jesus presents John with his greatness and limitations. John’s importance is seen from the fact that his preaching of the kingdom marked the beginning of its coming in Jesus. Being more than a prophet, John no longer belongs to the old age of prophecy but to the new age of the kingdom. To emphasize John’s prophetic role, Matthew has changed the order of the Canon of the Old Testament (11,13). The constant order in Scripture is: the Law and the prophets. According to the rabbis the prophets’ chief function was to guard and interpret the law. Matthew, instead, subsumes Law under prophecy and has both prophesized up until the age begun by John. This unusual order emphasizes the prophetic function of the whole tradition. It prepares for and confirms John’s special role. In this way, John is “the prophet” who was to prepare God’s people before the coming of the Messiah and the final judgment and who performs Elijah’s prophetic role absolutely (Mal 4,5-6; Sir 48.1-10).

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