Friday of the Second Week in Advent
(Isaiah 48:17-19; Matthew 11:16-19)
In an illustration of a Bible drawn by hand and illustrated with gold leaf, angels are announcing the birth of the Messiah to the shepherds around Bethlehem. Most of the shepherds listen to the message, but in the corner two -- a man and his maiden -- merrily dance away. The illustration forthrightly depicts what we know by experience: the good news is intended for all but some choose not to heed it.
In the gospel today Jesus expresses his frustration with those who deliberately ignore the call for repentance. He says that it has been preached in varied tones – the sternness of John the Baptist and the festiveness of himself; still, most in his generation find objection to it. Could it be that the idea of a God who cares so much that He comes as a human is too much for these people to bear?
In two weeks we will be celebrating the feast of God’s coming. More than anything Christmas tells us how much God loves us – so much that He gives up His place in the heavens, as it were, to accompany us in our need. Our response must only be one of attentiveness to what He has to say.