December 9, Thursday of the Second Week of Advent
Daily Readings: Isaiah 41: 13-20 & Matthew 11: 11-15
The first reading tells us about the exile in Babylon of the Jews is drawing near. And the messages in the readings are full of encouragement. God will protect his chosen people against their enemies and will see to their needs.
For the Israelites, good time is approaching as they will leave their place of exile and return to their homeland. This is indicated in the provision of an abundance of water, the formation of rivers and lakes. Reminiscent. With this, we remember the story of Moses, who produced water from the rock for Israelites during the Exodus.
Today, numerous God's children are experiencing hard life in exile and various difficulties even in their homeland. It is our constant prayer that people in power of those certain Lands may be granted the hearts of flesh, that they may always make use of the God-given resources for all God's children.
In today's Gospel reading, we have the message about the humility of John the Baptist. John began public ministry around 30 AD and was known for attracting large crowds across Judaea and around the Jordan River. When Jesus came to him to be baptized, John recognized him and said, "It is I who need baptism from you."
John recognizes his role and he does not wish to make himself great. He acknowledges the greatness of the person who is to come after him. It is an example of true humility.
John the Baptist proclaims the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin. He says that another will come after him who will not baptize with water but with the Holy Spirit. Jesus comes to John and is baptized by him in the River Jordan.
John instructed his followers to turn to Christ, calling Him the "Lamb of God," and these people were among the first Christians.
John spoke with Herod on several occasions and condemned his marriage to his half-brother's wife. He is an example of standing for the truth firmly.
May the season of Advent be a time for us to adorn ourselves with the virtue of humility and have a solid resolution for stand for the truth after the example of John the Baptist.
At the same time, let us remember to pray for those who have given up their lives this year for the truth. May the eternal light shine upon them. Amen.