Daily Reflection – Dec 14, 2016
Wednesday 14 December 2016
First Reading: Isaiah 45:6-8, 18, 21-26
Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Saviour
Gospel Reading: Luke 7:19-23
Today’s Saint: St John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
At that time,
John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask,
“Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
When the men came to the Lord, they said,
“John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask,
‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’”
At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits;
he also granted sight to many who were blind.
And Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
How can we know that Jesus is who he claims to be, the Son of God, the promised Messiah, and Savior of the world? Is our faith a blind leap we must take without certainty or proof? John the Baptist sent his disciples to question Jesus about his claim to be God’s anointed Messiah. Did John have doubts about Jesus and his claim to divinity? Not likely, since John had earlier revealed Jesus’ mission at the River Jordan when he exclaimed, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
John saw from a distance what Jesus would accomplish through his atoning sacrifice on the cross – our redemption from bondage to sin, condemnation, and death, and our adoption as sons and daughters of God and citizens of the kingdom of heaven. John very likely sent his disciples to Jesus because he wanted them to hear and see firsthand for themselves the signs and proof that the Messiah had indeed come in the person of Jesus who was sent by the Father in heaven and anointed by the Spirit at the River Jordan.
The Messiah performs the signs of God’s kingdom power
The miracles which Jesus performed and the message he proclaimed about the coming of God’s kingdom in his person was a direct fulfillment of what the prophets had foretold many centuries before (see Isaiah 29:18-19; 35:5-6; 61:1). Isaiah had prophesied that the Messiah would come in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring freedom and new life for all who were oppressed by afflictions, infirmities, sin and guilt, and demonic spirits (see Isaiah 61:1-2).
Jesus came in the power of God’s kingdom to release those bound up by sin, fear, and hopelessness. His miracles and exorcisms are direct signs of God’s power and presence and they confirm that the Father has sent his only begotten Son to be our Messiah (which means the Anointed One) and Savior.
Through Jesus’ atoning death on the cross and through the power of his resurrection we receive the first-fruits of God’s kingdom – the forgiveness of our sins, adoption as sons and daughters of God, new life in the Holy Spirit, and the promise that we will be raised to everlasting life with God in his kingdom. The Gospel is “good news” for all who receive it and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know and witness to others the joy and good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
“Lord Jesus, you are the fulfillment of all our hopes and desires.Set my heart aflame with the fire of your love and with the power of the Holy Spirit that I may boldly witness the joy of the Gospel and serve your kingdom wherever you place me.”