Liturgic day: Tuesday 1st of Advent
Gospel text (Lc 10,21-24): Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, «I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and made them known to the little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. I have been given all things by my Father, so that no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and he to whom the Son chooses to reveal him».
Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said to them privately, «Fortunate are you to see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings would have liked to see what you see but did not, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it».
«I praise you, Father»
Fr. Jean GOTTIGNY
Today, we are reading an excerpt of Chapter 10, of the Gospel after St. Luke. The Lord had sent seventy-two disciples to the towns He intended to visit. And they came back exultant. While listening to the accounts of their doings and exploits, «Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth’» (Lk 10:21).
One of the aspects of humility is gratitude. The arrogant one feels he owes nothing to anybody. To feel grateful, we need first to discover our insignificance. “Thanks” is one of the first words we teach our children. «I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and made them known to the little ones» (Lk 10:21).
Benedict XVI, when speaking of the attitude of adoration, he affirms «that adoring God means recognizing his presence as Creator and Lord of the Universe. The hallmark of worship is, recognizing the greatness of God that arises from the depths of one’s heart and marks one’s whole being, (…) ensuring that God is the most important part of one’s life with the realization that with God at the centre of our lives the purpose of their existence will become clear».
A sensible soul feels the need to express its gratitude. It is the only way for us to reciprocate for the divine favors received. «What do you possess that you have not received?» (1Co 4:7). We must certainly «give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us He took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation» (St. Leo the Great).
«Fortunate are you to see what you see»
Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García
(Sant Quirze del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, and always, we Christians are all invited to share Jesus’ joy. He, filled with the holy Spirit, said: «Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I praise you, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to simple people» (Mt 11:25). Very rightly, this fragment of the Gospel has been called the “Magnificat of Jesus” by some authors, as the underlying idea is the same as in Mary’s Canticle (cf. Lc 1:46-55).
Joy is an attitude which goes together with hope. It has to be difficult for a person who has no hope, to be happy. And, what is it that we Christians put our hope in? The coming of the Messiah and of his Kingdom, in which justice and peace will bloom; a new reality where «the wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard will rest beside the kid, the calf and the lion cub will lead them» (Is 11:6). The kingdom we are waiting for is making its way day by day, and we have to know how to discover its presence amongst us. For the world we live in, so lacking in peace and harmony, in justice and love, how necessary the hope of us Christians is! A hope that does not come from natural optimism nor false illusion, but from God himself.
However, Christian hope, which is light and heat for the world, will only be had by that ones who are simple and humble of heart, because God has hidden knowledge and the mystery of his kingdom’s love from the wise and expert, that is to say, from the ones who are blinded by pride in their erudition.
A good way to prepare the paths of the Lord in this Advent would precisely be to grow in humility and in simplicity, to open our hearts to the gifts of God, to live with hope and become better witnesses of Jesus’ kingdom every day.