Gospel Reading and Thoughts for December 15, 2013

advent wreath 3

Gospel – Matthew 11:2-11

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“What did you go out to the desert to see?
A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.

Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

The coming of Christ!  How can we enliven our hearts and those of our families during this time of preparation and anticipation?

We can make Advent time more present to us all by taking steps closer to Christmas while still recognizing that it is not yet here.  We can listen to Christmas carols – not just Jingle Bells but those that speak of Christ’s coming, like Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming or Emmanuel.  We can pray before we light the advent candle.  Sometimes to make mass more meaningful to my children, I present a question to them.  They have to listen in the readings to find the answer or look about the church for small changes that occur in the Advent season.  We can also approach Communion more reverently, realizing that the receiving of Christ is like having our own Christmas each Sunday!

If we recognize the meaning of Christ’s coming, we can put more meaning into this Advent time for all of our loved ones.

Lord, help me, with patient anticipation, prepare a way for you in my heart and in the hearts of my family.

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