Wednesday, Second Week of Advent
The first reading tells us of the Lord’s coming to Jerusalem…again (Zec. 2:12). It goes on to describe how he would come and dwell among the people of Judah…how they would be his people in his holy place forever.
Jesus had been to Judah on many occasions. He was brought to Judah to be presented at the Temple (Lk. 2:22). He accompanied his parents to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover, as was the custom of every Jewish family (Lk. 2:42-43). Why, even the devil took him to Jerusalem and was tempted to jump from the pinnacle of the Temple (Lk. 4:9). And of all his visits, who can forget his triumphant entry into Jerusalem when he was greeted with the cries of Hosanna and welcomed with palm branches (Jn. 12:12-13), only to be crucified at Golgotha just outside the city!
Interestingly, the gospel today cites another occasion when Jesus had been to Judah; an occasion which we so conveniently overlook. If his last visit to Judah was distinguished by the jubilant entry into Jerusalem saddled on a colt, his very first visit to that hill country was of the most unassuming kind – it was soon after his conception cuddled in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mother! Imagine the Word Incarnate – through whom the entire universe came into being – most vulnerable in a peasant virgin’s blessed womb, which would be his infinite universe for nine long months!
All of us are well acquainted of the confession of John the Baptist who acknowledged that he was just a herald of Jesus unworthy even to untie his sandals. But little do we realize that this same Jesus attended to John and his mother Elizabeth for three months in a manner most subtle in unison with Mary – snuggled in her womb! Ironically, the same Jesus whom John found unworthy to serve would go to the extent of washing the feet of mortals – his disciples at the Last Supper! In a way, John was right. Jesus was not meant to be served but to serve. He was servant par excellence.
If his very first mission to Judah was that of a servant, his final one was that of a suffering servant (Is. 52:13-14)!
But wait, never arrive at conclusions so hastily. If we conclude that his ultimate visit to Judah found himself as a suffering servant, well, we could not be more mistaken. The glorious coming of Jesus to Judah is yet to come, when even the Magnificat would fall short to proclaim his greatness. The only possible response from us could be one of deafening silence…one of spellbinding stillness in the Lord’s presence! Until then, keep serving him in our brethren in need.