“Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” John’s disciples ask this of Jesus at the beginning of chapter 11.
This quote precedes today’s reading but sets the tone for the rest of the chapter. The final verse of today’s gospel passage (“wisdom is vindicated by her works”) sums up Jesus’ answer to John and his frustration with those who accused John of having a demon. At the same time, Jesus’ habit of eating and drinking with sinners earned him a reputation of being a glutton and a drunkard (11:18-19). His generation found reason to take offense at both John and Jesus and thus evade the call of both. They are like children in the marketplace who cannot decide whether they want to play wedding games or funeral games and end up playing neither (11:16-17).
“Yet, wisdom is vindicated by her deeds,” Jesus says. Jesus’ deeds give evidence that he embodies and reveals the wisdom of God that he is “the one who is to come,” the one who ushers in God’s kingdom.
Advent is a time for us to discern more fully who Jesus is and how he reveals the Father to us. The scripture readings face us with Old Testament expectations and the gospels with the realization of their hopes. In every Eucharist, we can deepen our appreciation of how Jesus’ care and concern for us follow us throughout our lives, flowing out of his deep love for us.
Do we believe that Jesus is really the “One who is to come” for us each day? Do we reflect his values in our own lives?
Let Us Pray:
O loving Jesus, help me not to have the fickleness of children or the blind stubbornness of the Pharisees when I contemplate your teaching.