Friday, 2nd Week of Advent             

            Many people in Jesus’ time claimed to be eager for the kingdom of God. Yet, they rejected the preaching of John and the message of Jesus. In today’s gospel reading, Jesus compares them to children who are constantly dissatisfied in doing what they are being asked to do. Here, Jesus is speaking about the people of his generation and people of every generation.

            The people refused John the Baptist’s call to repentance. Why? Because they considered him too severe, too conservative. They also refused Jesus’ call to reform and live the Kingdom life. Why? Because he was too tolerant, too progressive for them.

            The same thing happens today. I like how Joseph Krempa puts it… Many people claim that they want God to come into their lives but they want God only on their own terms. They do not want their relationship with God to influence their lifestyle and the way they do things… to affect the way they use their time, talents, and resources… to shape their political views and stand on social issues… to interfere with their career, profession, or business… to change or curtail the way they treat others… to determine what they say or post on social media… to impact the way they entertain and satisfy themselves.

            They want the Church “to be there” for them but they do not have time “to be there” for the Church. The excuses are many: The parish may be too conservative or too liberal; there is too much music or too little music; there is always fundraising or there is hardly pastoral programs for the community. The priest talks too much about politics or he is not addressing social issues. The bishop should speak out on certain things or he is speaking out on too many things. These are all ways of evading commitment. Yet, without commitment to the Lord, none of the great spiritual things of which Scripture speaks will ever happen in our life.

            God will not be a real part of our lives unless we follow on his terms not on our own. May our Advent preparation lead us to letting God have greater influence and impact on our life. May we live the Kingdom life more faithfully.

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