Monday 12 December 2022 – HONESTY BEFORE GOD

3rd Week of Advent – Our Lady of Guadalupe        

1st Reading: Zec 2:14-17

Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!  See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the Lord. Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day, and they shall be his people, and he will dwell among you, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. The Lord will possess Judah as his portion in the holy land, and he will again choose Jerusalem. Silence, all mankind, in the presence of the Lord! For he stirs forth from his holy dwelling.

Gospel: Lk 1:39-45

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”

HONESTY BEFORE GOD: Honesty is a virtue of sincerity, truthfulness, and frankness.  An honest person stands by the truth, and does not allow any deception in ones’ life. The teachings of John the Baptist and Jesus were not accepted by the chief priests and the elders of Jerusalem. Their excuse was that they did not know the source of either John or Jesus’ authority. However, their preaching and acts of power gave self-evident proof of the source of their authority, namely, God. Only those who were honest, and truthful could recognize that, and believed. Confronted by the chief priests and the elders, Jesus challenges them to reflect truthfully and honestly. In order for us to have a genuine encounter with Jesus, and in order for us to be authentic followers of Jesus, we must be honestly and truthfully open to Jesus, to allow him to transform us.  The Advent season is a time of this transformation.

Prayer: Strengthen our faith in you, O Lord


RIGHT DEFENDERS: Since Jesus cleansed the temple, the Chief priests and the temple authorities were enraged with Him because of  His interference with their authority. Their concern  was ‘by what authority’ Jesus had done this.  It is said that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  No one had the power to question the temple authorities. Despite knowing that the cleansing of the temple would invite enmity, Jesus did not hesitate. Throughout the world today, most of those in authority abuse the power vested on them, and violate the human rights.  The Human Right Defenders (HRD) are persecuted and made to disappear. Jesus can be a model for the Human Right Defenders. Jesus was as innocent as a dove but at the same time shrewd for thesake of the Kingdom.   Let us be intelligent and have a strong network to defend the rights of people.

PRAYER:  Lord, help me to defend the rights of the marginalized.


SWITCHING GEARS TO GET ACROSS A DIFFICULT MESSAGE: It takes great courage to confront such adversaries. Jesus responds to them with skill without directly answering their questions. The chief priests responded the dumbest of replies. When the elders said we do not know, they did so after lot of thinking and discussions. But Jesus said, “Then I will not tell you”.  He displayed that courage of conviction. All that he did and spoke was mandated by the father’s will. He said, “I always do what pleases my father” (Jn 8: 29). Jesus confronts a powerful section of society who hoodwinks the people, and yet want to be in their good books. Jesus shows silence is not an option nor a weak spineless submission to the attack. The lesson is: silence is equal to complicity. Being silent we let the evil win and we allow the wrong to flourish. When the orthodox and the violent behave as if they have the monopoly of truth, let’s learn to speak out, resist the perverse. May we resolve not to be in complicity with the wrong, violent and perverse.


WHERE HAVE YOU HIDDEN YOURSELF, MY BELOVED? In the gospel reading of today, the leaders of the Jews question the authority of Jesus. It is their expression of the rejection of Jesus. The saint we celebrate today, St John of the Cross, on the contrary, consistently expressed a longing for Jesus. A few lines from the deep words of St John of the Cross could act as our Advent song and our prayer: Where have You hidden Yourself, / And abandoned me in my groaning, O my Beloved? / You have fled like the hart, /Having wounded me. / I ran after You, crying; but You were gone. In search of my Love / I will go over mountains and strands; / I will gather no flowers, / I will fear no wild beasts; / And pass by the mighty and the frontiers. Reveal Your presence, / And let the vision and Your beauty kill me, / Behold the malady / Of love is incurable / Except in Your presence and before Your face.