Surpassing expectations

Readings for Wednesday December 16, 2009

First Reading: Isaiah 45:6-8, 18, 21-25
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 85
Gospel: Luke 7:18-23

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.” (Lk 7:18-23)

Have you ever gone out to eat at a new restaurant with high expectations, and then after the meal you are just a little let down? It turns out that the meal just wasn't what you had in mind and that it just didn't meet the high expectations that you had originally had. Most of us have expectations about people and things, and there are times in life when the things that we had expectations about just don't meet those original ideas. This same scenario happened to John the Baptist.

In the gospels today, we read how after hearing about the things that Jesus was doing, and how he just wasn't quite sure if Jesus was the Messiah or not. It wasn't that He really doubted that Jesus was the Son of God, it was just that His tactics weren't what John had expected. John, like many people of the past had probably expected a kingly warrior type who would drive off the Romans and correct all the wrongs that were going on at the time. John just didn't understand why there wasn't a battle going on, or why there weren't any governments being overthrown. As it turns out, Jesus just wasn't what John expected. But like so many times in life, God has a plan that is beyond our expectations. John just did not know God's plan, He didn't understand how Christ came to preach forgiveness, heal people and to bring hope into this world. Christ did not come to destroy anything, but rather to build up. He came to give people a way to heaven, through His life, death and resurrection.

The fact is that we will never fully understand God's ways and His plans, all that we can do is trust in Him and to realize that His plans will always surpass our expectations.

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we praise you for all that we have and all that we are able to do. Help us to be good stewards of all the gifts that you bring us and to trust in your will for us. Lord, we pray for all of our priests and religious, in their ministries and in their vows. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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