Be Greater Than John the Baptist!

Thursday of the Second Week of Advent

Is 41: 13-20; Mt 11: 11-15

Dc. Larry Brockman


So, the least in the Kingdom of God  Is greater than John the Baptist, who is the greatest of those born of a woman!  Is there any hope for us then, who certainly don’t have the insight or the zeal or the discipline of John the Baptist? Contrast that thought with response in our Psalm today:  “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow in anger, and great in kindness.”  How can both of these be true?  What does it all mean?

It means we all have cause to rejoice.  You see, the coming of Jesus, our savior, changed everything for us.  Up until then, the Kingdom of God was not open, and great as any human born of a woman might be, they could not enter the everlasting Kingdom of God.  Jesus’ coming put into action God’s plan to save all of us who believe and follow Jesus.  Yes, the Lord is gracious.

And to help us on our journey of life, we have been given great gifts- the Church and the Sacraments- Baptism, the Eucharist, Confirmation in particular.  These initiate and confirm us in our faith.  And the sacrament of reconciliation gives us a second, and third, and fourth, and on and on, chance to make things right with God as we fall on the way.  Yes indeed, the Lord is merciful and slow to anger.

Now most of us can’t really appreciate the literal meanings of the first reading.  We are not shepherds and farmers, and we don’t live in ancient times.  We have huge diesel driven bulldozers and earthmoving equipment that can literally move mountains.  We have cell phones and electric lights and running water and air conditioning, even in the middle of the desert.  These things, by the way, are not what Isaiah was predicting.  But try for a moment to visualize the promise that the Lord is delivering through Isaiah.   Imagine threshing a mountain with a hand tool with ease, and water bubbling free in the desert with rivers flowing on bare land.   For nomadic ancient peoples, these things symbolized a dream come true-. a permanent solution to wandering and scraping the land for survival.  Well, they symbolize the same thing for us- a dream come true, a state of prosperity and happiness forever.  Yes indeed, the Lord shows us great kindness.

So, rejoice, because the coming of Jesus does for us what the exiled people that Isaiah spoke to were hoping for.  Jesus coming guarantees us who believe everlasting life in the Kingdom of God, where we will also be greater than the greatest born of a woman.

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