Wednesday of the Third Week in Advent
(Isaiah 45:6c-8.18.21c-25; Luke 7:18b-23)
One of the great challenges to faith has come from a contemporary American physicist. Stephen Weinberg, musing on the universe, exclaimed, “The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless." The statement implies that creation does not have a purpose or plan. Rather, it unfolds haphazardly like the sequence of numbers called in a game of Bingo.
Today’s first reading poses a very different view. Second Isaiah sees the Lord in charge of everything. He created earth and sky for justice. That is, he wants everything to fulfill the good purpose for which He made it. The gospel shows Jesus enabling the fulfillment of this plan. He makes humans whole. He does not neglect the poorest of people but brings about God’s loving plan in all.
Many hesitate today to make a claim of priority for Jesus. They do not want to say, “Merry Christmas,” even to other Christians or people whose families are Christian. We want not avoid triumphalism, the belittling of other people of other faith traditions. Jesus himself blessed the meek. But in proclaiming “Christmas” we recognize the origin of our celebrating at this time of year. As important, we hint at necessary moderation in our celebrations. After all, Jesus came to bring justice to our lives.