Jesus said to the crowds: “Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” (Matthew 11:11-15)
Jesus tells us “Whoever has ears ought to hear” at the end of the Gospel today. So what are we hearing? Are we even listening?
Today I hear Jesus saying that John the Baptist is the greatest person born of woman, but even the least of the Kingdom is greater than he. John the Baptist testified to the imminence of the kingdom of God. Jesus is telling him, his disciples, the people in the crowd around him and, most of all, us that the kingdom is here and now and we are all called to work for the kingdom.
Isaiah foretold, John expected and Jesus confirmed that the kingdom of God is among us. We have been given all the tools to achieve God’s kingdom here on earth. It is God’s will that we let that “little light” shine for all the world to see. God will provide the courage, strength and renewal we need because it will take many people, much time and energy, and most of all faith, hope and love to realize God’s kingdom here ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’ We must think out-of-the-box of Jesus coming on clouds to save us and begin to think that it is our responsibility to respond to the many gifts God has given us by putting our efforts toward creating a world that reflects God to everyone.
This Advent may we wake up and prepare room for God in our hearts and in our world so that God’s reign of justice, peace and love may come to men and women of all races and languages and the earth will be filled with God’s glory. “Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus, I don’t so much seek your praise, but I seek to know and to do your will. Like John the Baptist and Francis of Assisi, let me be willing to be a ‘fool for Christ.’ A forerunner for Jesus.