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Friday, Third Week of Advent: Accepting the Evidence

December 16, 2011

Blessed Ember Friday!

May your grace, almighty God,
always go before us and follow after,
so that we, who await with heartfelt desire
the coming of your Only Begotten Son,
may receive your help both now and in the life to come.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
(Opening Prayer from today’s Mass)

Readings:
Isaiah 56:1-3, 6-8 (My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples)
Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 7-8 “O God, let all the nations praise You”
John 5:33-36 (Jesus’ works are a testimony greater than John’s)

God wants you!

And He will go to great lengths to convince you of that.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a foreigner:

Let not the foreigner say,
when he would join himself to the Lord,
“The Lord will surely exclude me from His people”
-Isaiah 56:3

It doesn’t matter if you seem useless:

Nor let the eunuch say,
“See, I am a dry tree”
-Isaiah 56:3

What matters to God is that you believe in Him
enough to join yourself to Him wholly,
to celebrate His sabbath
and keep His covenant (see Isaiah 56:6).

Them I will bring to My holy mountain
and make joyful in My house of prayer
-Isaiah 56:7

The trouble comes when people don’t want to believe in Him
(or more to the point, when they insist on having things their way over His).

Those who should’ve been the best prepared to welcome Jesus
were the very ones He had the most trouble convincing!
The priests and teachers,
the ones who knew the sacred Scriptures backward and forward
–Scriptures that speak of Jesus on every page–
refused to believe
despite the overwhelming evidence for Jesus’ identity.

You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept testimony from any human being,
but I say this so that you may be saved…
But I have testimony greater than John’s.
The works that the Father gave Me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on My behalf that the Father has sent Me.
-John 5:33-34, 36

Everything Jesus did was a fulfillment of prophesy.
The passages these men had been studying since childhood
were coming radically alive before their very eyes!

But they refused to see.

It’s proverbial:

There’s none so blind as those who will not see.

The religious leaders wanted God on their own terms,
–not on His–
which, as creatures and therefore limited,
is the one thing they could not have.

Jesus didn’t give up.
By His death and resurrection and the preaching of the early Church,
He did bring many of them to the faith!

[in Jerusalem] There were many priests among those who embraced the faith
-Acts 6:7

Some of the converted Pharisees then got up…
-Acts 15:5 (emphasis added)

He won’t give up on you either.

He loves you (see I John 4:10).
He wants you (see I Timothy 2:4).
Only He can satisfy your soul (see Psalm 62:1).

What will it take for you to be convinced?

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