Friday, Second Week of Advent

First Reading: Is. 48:17-19; Ps. 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6; Gospel: Mt. 11:16-19.

People consider a person gifted if he/she could perceive or discern something more than what apparently meets the eye. I sincerely wish, for the good of us all, that their deductions and conclusions are never wrong! If they were wrong, this so-called gift could be the vilest of curses that could befall us.

That we could never be free from our traits, from our idiosyncrasies, from the bidding of our psyche – are all understandable. We are social beings conditioned by our surroundings and circumstances. But to be enslaved by prejudice and bigotry …well, that is inexcusable. Getting easily swayed by emotions and opinions makes oneself vulnerable, gullible and naïve.

The people of Jesus’ time were no different. John the Baptist who fasted and preached repentance and penance, was a case of demonic possession to them. Jesus who came to save mankind …to forgive sins, was a glutton and a drunkard who befriended tax collectors and sinners! When their much-awaited Messiah came, all they could perceive of him was a liberal of questionable morals, a rebel who challenged their much revered Mosaic law and their zealously guarded traditions.

Jesus felt sorry for his people because he found his generation to be blind to the Truth, who were led by religious superiors were equally blind. Remember, when Jesus lamented over them? He said that the men of Nineveh who repented listening to Jonah would rise against this generation to condemn them, for they failed to realize The One in their midst who was far more greater than Jonah. To me, they would have been better off, had they stopped with being blind to the Truth. But they got themselves swayed by prejudice in unison with their leaders. To be blind to the truth is one thing; to be dictated by preconceived notions is another issue altogether.

It’s convenient for us to look down on the contemporaries of Jesus ‘who missed the bus’. What we don’t realize is that we might be much worse than them. While the Jews still await their Messiah, our contemporaries have denied God. Some of us have gone to the extent of declaring that God is dead! Looks like many of us have boarded the wrong bus!!

Let’s keep waiting, praying all the while – never to be affected by prejudice and erroneous conclusions. Let’s always be open to the possibility of encountering Jesus as he truly is.

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