The good news for the day December 15, 2016

Thursday of the Third Week in Advent (190)

When the men from John the baptizer had gone away, Jesus began to speak about John to the public. “What made you go so far out to the desert to see—a reed bending in the wind? So, what DID you go out to see?  Somebody all dressed up in fancy clothing? People who dress up in rich clothes—and live lavishly—they are found in luxurious apartments. So—what did you go out to see? A prophet who tells the truth? Sure! I am telling you—and more than a prophet. This is the one person about whom Scripture has said: ‘Pay attention: I am sending ahead of you my messenger, he will prepare your way before you.’ (Luke 7)

How crucial it is for you to see yourself as John! You bring others to Jesus—you—the messenger, preparer, and cook for the heavenly banquet.

If someone sees you telling courageous truth, unbending in the winds of cultural high pressure, content with modest clothing, a modest home, and a way of life that is grateful, humble and happy—People see Jesus. If you are, on the other hand, full of steady low-grade resentments (as so many are), feel defensive a lot, are hungry to acquire the latest things and jealous of others’ prosperity—you might try reflecting—as Jesus suggests.

What do you yourself really look for in others? Integrity and honesty, for sure—someone who tells the truth, keeps promises and is competent. Helpfulness but help that is not patronizing. Authentic caring for you that is cheerful and consistent. A sense of peace in the other person—that he or she is “comfortable in their own skin,” as they say. A person you can laugh with and accept—as they accept you.

This is John, this is you. It is someone people go out of their way to be with, to listen to, to respond to, and to love—and of course you see that this is the very definition of equality, of “loving neighbor as ourselves” of preparing for Christmas. You see in them and they see in you the coming of Jesus.

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