Readings for Thursday December 16, 2010
First Reading: Isaiah 54:1-10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 30
Gospel: Luke 7:24-30
When the messengers of John the Baptist had left, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John. “What did you go out to the desert to see B a reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine garments? Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously are found in royal palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom Scripture says: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, he will prepare your way before you.
I tell you, among those born of women, no one is greater than John; yet the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.” (All the people who listened, including the tax collectors, who were baptized with the baptism of John, acknowledged the righteousness of God; but the Pharisees and scholars of the law, who were not baptized by him, rejected the plan of God for themselves.) (Lk 7:24-30)
In today's gospel Jesus speaks of John the Baptist. In the end, the sinners and tax collectors who were baptized by John acknowledge the "righteousness of God" and they believed in Jesus' words; but the Pharisees and scholars did not believe. Why did they not believe? Was it because they felt shunned for not being baptized? Did they think of themselves as more intellectual than sinners? Perhaps they just weren't listening. What is most likely the cause of their unbelief is pride. Their pride was so great that they would not believe or see God's beautiful plan for salvation, they were too wrapped up in their own beliefs and opinions. Pride has this dangerous way of leading us away from God and His plan for us. If we allow our hearts to become swelled with pride, then there is not room for God, and all we will believe in is ourselves.
Pride is one of the most dangerous of sins, in fact some believe that it is the most dangerous. Pride is what led to the fall of Lucifer, and it is the cause of the fall of many men and women. Let us ask God today for an increase in faith and trust in Him and in His plan. As we go about this Advent season, let us continue to make room in our hearts for Christ, not pride.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you have blessed us with and all that you give. Lord, you are our God, and there is no other like you. May our lives be centered around you and may you fill our hearts with your love and mercy. Lord, we pray for all those who are struggling with pride, may they be released of this sin and come into your loving arms. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.