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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

Christianity is a Gentle God

Saturday, December 16, 2023

by Fr. David M. Knight

View readings for 2nd Saturday of Advent:

Lectionary no. 186 (Sirach 48:1-4, 9-12; Psalm 80; Matthew 17:10-13)

Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him. Matthew 17:12

John the Baptizer was the “second Elijah.” But people did not recognize him, because where Elijah was a man “like fire,” powerful and protected by God, Jesus abandoned John into the hands of his enemies and let him be put to death. Even John himself couldn’t understand it (see Matthew 11:2).

But as the precursor of a Messiah who would not do what was expected, John had to precede Jesus in revealing God’s glory through gentleness, longsuffering, and endurance instead of through visible power and success. Because Jesus was going to die in apparent defeat, his chosen weakness had to be seen first in John.

Christianity is unique in presenting a God who suffers for sinners instead of punishing them. Jesus lets himself be defeated by his enemies instead of crushing them, in the hope of winning their conversion. No matter what anyone does, he always prefers mercy to justice, and reconciliation to revenge.

Jesus does not want to rule without relationship. He doesn’t override; he interacts.

Christianity is a religion of friendship with God, not of domination, punishment, or fear. If we did not learn this growing up, now is the time to meet Jesus Christ!

DAILY PRACTICE: Whenever you do something for a friend, ask yourself how Jesus does the same thing for you.

ADVENT PRAYER: Lord, let us see your face and we shall know your love

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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