Meditation for the Day

Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent, December 15

May Our “Yes” to God Always Imitate the “Yes” of Our Savior, So That We, Too, May Always Follow the Example Which Our Lord Set for Each of Us Throughout His Life, from the Manger in Bethlehem to the Cross on Calvary.

To be or not to be; to do or not to do; to commit ourselves or not commit – Throughout our lifetime, the doubts and questions of  Shakespeare’s Hamlet are those of all of us – to some degree and in one form or another.

The theme of today’s Readings is salvation. Throughout the course of human history, man’s salvation has always hinged on his obedience to all that God asks of him. And, in today’s Gospel, it is our Lord who guides us into contemplating this very virtue, the virtue of obedience.

Jesus tells us a short parable of two sons. The son who agrees to do the work asked by his father and who says “yes”, but never does it – he represents people like the chief priests and the scribes among those who were listening to Jesus. These were the official faithful Jews, who made a public showing of being members of the Covenant, which God established with His children through Moses. Yet, the lives they lived fell far short of what God expected of them.

The tax collectors and the prostitutes, on the other hand, represent the other son. Originally, they did not make such a profession to adhere to God’s Laws; but, by their responsiveness to the teachings of John the Baptist, they actually did what God was asking. Initially, they had said “no” to God’s Covenant; but, in practice, and by their repentance, they ended up saying “yes”.

Jesus’ parable of the two sons shocked the self-righteous Jews, who outwardly practiced the external rituals of their religion, while inwardly harboring evil thoughts and intentions. And our Lord declared that the least among them would enter the Kingdom of God before any of them would.

Even in our First Reading for today, the Spirit of God is speaking through the Prophet Zephaniah, “Woe to the city, rebellious and polluted…She hears no voice, accepts no correction; In the LORD she has not trusted, to her God she has not drawn near.” Yet, in spite of the obstinance of God’s children, Zephaniah reminded his people that God would bring healing, pardon, and restoration to those who turned back to Him with repentance, obedience and trust.

And our psalmist, in today’s Responsorial Psalm, speaks about a God who will not refuse to listen to His people, especially those who seek shelter in His Merciful Love – “The LORD redeems the lives of his servants; no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.”

When I look back on my own youth, I can visualize those times in which my own father would ask something of me. In my youthful arrogance, I would say “yes”, but end up doing my own will, never considering the fact that my actions would cause him pain – showing that my obedience to his word and trust in his caring love was very shallow at times.

And, for those of us who are parents, how many of our own children have done the same to us? And have we not felt disappointed and hurt?

Our Heavenly Father is no different! Each one of us – no matter what our faith persuasion may be, no matter what walk of life we may come from – we are all His spiritual children. We are each brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ; and, by virtue of our Baptism, we are each called to be co-heirs with Christ.

And it is Christ who has set the example for us – the example of obedience, the example of a loving trust in His Father. When the Eternal Word was asked by the Father to take flesh upon Himself, He said “yes” without question. And, without reservation, He set aside the awesome Glory of His Throne so that He could be born as one of us, so that He could physically be in our midst and experience all that we experience, except sin.

And during the time that our Lord bodily walked amongst us, He taught us about the mind and the will of God, and about the profound wonders of God’s unfathomable Love and limitless Mercy, and He even gave to each of us the courage to call His Father ours!

Jesus committed Himself to the Father’s will so perfectly, that, from the very moment that He said “yes” to taking flesh upon Himself, He knew that He would one day embrace the Cross, in order to show the true depth and meaning of His Love – so much so that He willingly stretched out His arms upon the wood of the Cross to embrace us all!

As you and I prepare ourselves for that most wondrous event on Christmas Day when the Divine Son, through His perfect “yes”, was born to live amongst us, may our “yes” to all that is asked of us from a Most Loving God imitate the “yes” of our Savior, trusting in His Father and ours without reservation – so that we, too, may be counted among those faithful in God’s Heavenly Kingdom.

So that we, too, may always follow the example which our Lord set for each of us throughout His life, from the manger in Bethlehem to the Cross on Calvary.

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Ah! Rebellious and polluted, the tyrannical city! It listens to no voice, accepts no correction; In the LORD it has not trusted, nor drawn near to its God…For then I will make pure the speech of the peoples, That they all may call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one accord.” (Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9)
  • “The LORD is the redeemer of the souls of his servants; and none are condemned who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:23)
  • “Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people…‘Which of the two did his father’s will?’ They answered, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.’(Matthew 21:24a, 31)
  • “For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified.” (Romans 2:13)
  • “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven!” (Matthew 7:21)
  • “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.’(John 14:23)

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Prayer for the Day

“Lord Jesus, Almighty King of kings,
You who obeyed Your Father to the end,
Teach me the meaning of obedience.
My soul burns to comply with Your will,
Striving to please Your Divinity.

“While my worldly nature seeks one way,
My spiritual nature seeks another.
Bless me with the strength to obey,
That my soul may subdue both natures,
Blending them together as a sweet-smelling oblation.

“May I always seek favor in Your eyes, O God,
To always obey You until my last breath! Amen.”

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