The story of John the Baptist is familiar to us. But we might have glossed over one simple line in today’s text, “Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance” (v. 8). How, during the merriment of the ‘most wonderful time of the year,’ do we do this?
During Advent, I think I ask myself, “Am I ready?” about 400 times, but it’s rarely in reference to anything that really matters. I’m worried about the gifts, the food for the family party, the delayed shipping on the Christmas cards. For what am I preparing here?
Jesus told us that the world would one day come to an end. He describes some of what we will see in this Sunday’s Gospel. Some people make it their personal ambition to attempt to determine precisely WHEN this event will take place. But is it necessary to know?
What do you suppose drove Zacchaeus to go out and look for Jesus? As the chief tax collector, he was hated by the people who considered him a traitor and a crook. However, something compelled him to climb up a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus.
Throughout this Sunday’s readings runs a thread of gratitude and thanksgiving at seeing the wonder and goodness of God. There is a profound desire to be close to the Lord. To develop and maintain a relationship with Him — not for what He does but for who He is.
In today’s gospel the apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith. They found themselves ill equipped. While truth resonated through Jesus’s words and actions, they were asking to have what Jesus had so that they could more adequately do it.