Friday of the Second Week of Advent
(Isaiah 48:17-19; Matthew 11:16-19)
An age-old fable depicts a man who comes in from the cold and blows on his hands to warm them up. When the man is served a bowl of scalding soup, he blows on it to cool it down. The man is then shown the door because he is inconsistent. In a similar way the gospel today expresses the sad fact that the message of God’s kingdom is rejected because the first of its preachers, John the Baptist, is austere while the second, Jesus himself, is festive.
Both preachers call for repentance and proclaim the nearness of the kingdom. But there is a difference to what they are testifying. John’s sees God coming in wrath to punish those who do not act with justice. Jesus, on the other hand, envisions God coming with blessings for those take compassion and pursue reconciliation.
Although there is a similarity at the core, which of the two messages is truer? Jesus provides the clue to the answer when he says, “…wisdom is vindicated by her works.” His healings show that we are on target when we strive to love and forgive.