Tuesday of the First Week in Advent
(Isaiah 11:1-10; Luke 10:21-24)
A short story entitled “Attitude Adjustment” tells of a priest who gets hit by a train while driving. Father Jim survived the crash because somehow he failed to clasp his seatbelt and was thrown from the car. He was left a mess, of course. His face was racked and his brain discombobulated. During his recuperation Fr. Jim made many mistakes from a loss of perspective. The bishop had to retire him to doing children’s liturgy.
At the end of the story the priest reads the parable of the Good Samaritan. When he finishes, he asks the children why God permitted the Jewish man to get beat up so badly. One six-year old answers that God wanted to teach the man a lesson for hating Samaritans. He says that the man needed an “attitude adjustment.” Then the children start asking Fr. Jim about what had happened to him. They show him healing concern as if they were all the Balm of Gilead wrapped in children’s clothing. No doubt, Fr. Jim now realizes why the accident happened and why his life was spared. God allows such tragedies so that people might look into the eyes of a stranger and find a friend. Furthermore, God wants His children to act as healing balm to one another.
In today’s gospel Jesus cites children as understanding God’s gracious will. He indicates that they know more than the wise and learned know how we should show concern for others. In Advent more than preparing for Christmas, we are waiting for Jesus to come to judge us. We know that he will give a thumbs up if we work to heal the wounds of those who are hurting. If we require an attitude adjustment, let it be. We have to work to heal the wounds of those who are hurting.