Readings for Thursday December 10, 2009
First Reading: Isaiah 41:13-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145
Gospel: Matthew 11:11-15
Jesus said to the crowds: “Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” (Mt 11:11-15)
Today we find out that John the Baptist is Elijah, the one who is to come and prepare the way of the Lord. John was a great prophet, even Jesus Himself says so. The Lord uses great messengers throughout the scriptures to deliver His messages and to help spread the good news and hope that is found in the Lord. God even to this day uses messengers to deliver powerful messages that each of us seem to hear at a timely point in our lives. I have been to some great conferences and speakers and heard some wonderful talks of powerful Catholic speakers. Many times when hearing these speakers it was exactly what I needed to hear at the time; God's timing is always good. But God has sent messengers into my life not just at conferences, but also daily; my wife, friends, family, etc. And who could forget about our priests who deliver God's message at every mass, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and any other times we need them. God's messengers are out there delivering His words and doing His will each and every day, and it is always for the sake of the Kingdom.
But regardless of how great these messengers are, because they are on earth, they still fall short of the glory of heaven. Even a great prophet like John the Baptist was considered below the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. This is an important reminder that no matter how successful we may be here on earth, we still have a long way to go. And no earthly successes can ever put us above those in the Kingdom of Heaven. Our greatest success in life will be the day that God allows us into His Kingdom where we can spend eternity with Mary our Blessed Mother, all the saints and the angels basking in God's love and praise Him and worshiping Him at all times. That is the day in which we will truly find success.
So let us remember that God sends many messengers in our lives, and if we are paying attention, we might just hear what God is saying to us. But regardless of how great we think these messengers are or how greatly we think of ourselves; we all still have a long way to go. For no matter how Holy we are here on earth, we are still below even the least in the Kingdom of heaven.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we praise you for the many blessings in our lives. Thank you for all that you give and all that you do. I pray that we can surrender our will to you, to let go of all the things that we cling to on this earth. Lord, help us to let go of worldly things and to just cling to you. We pray for all those in need of conversion and all those seeking hope in this world, may they find it in you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.