The Gospel according to 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.”
Reflection: Jesus agrees with the adage that actions speak louder than words. This gospel provides the confirmation that Jesus knows the importance of integrity, of speaking and acting from the very center of his identity. When he teaches about forgiving one’s neighbor, he demonstrates it by forgiving his executioners. When he says that the eyes of the blind will be open and the deaf will hear, he publicly restores sight and hearing. There is an old saying that I learned early in life: “Say what you mean and mean what you say”. Jesus does just that. He means what he says, and invests his life in living what he preaches.
By telling John the Baptist’s disciples that they should simply lay out the evidence for John, Jesus is telling them to engage in the process and do the work that will be convincing. Jesus continues to teach us all, through His teachings and through His actions, to do our part in our own communities. This may be harder to do for some than for others. It took me some time to get over my anxiety to approach others who needed help. But through prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit I was able to overcome those feelings and that fear. Being part of a group prayer network, my wife Tricia and I have been witnesses to the love and compassion of God through the power of prayer.
So as we continue to prepare for the birth of Jesus, let us remember that there is still work to be done and that it is the responsibility of each of one of us to make our own contributions.
Action for the Day: As the weather continues to get colder, find a way to help those who are experiencing homelessness by carrying in your car a gently used jacket or even a blanket, as I do, so that you can be the face of Christ to those in need.