St John of the Cross, priest & doctor , pray for us
2nd Week of Advent (B) : Thursday 14th December 2023
Is. 41:13-20; Ps. 144:1 and 9,10-11,12-13b;
Mt. 11:11-15 (Ps. Wk. II)
John the Baptist (3:2) and Jesus (4:17) proclaimed the Kingdom, and both were violently oppressed by the leaders of the people. John’s imprisonment by Herod can be considered a violent attack against the dawning of the Kingdom. In Mt. 23:13, Jesus will denounce the Pharisaic violence against the Kingdom.
The Kingdom of God is thus subjected to violence. Violent persons snatch it away from those who would enter it (11:12). But the Kingdom of God also makes specific violent demands in Isaiah. Those seeking to enter the Kingdom are prepared to use violence on themselves, thus taking the Kingdom by force. People who desire the justice and peace of the Kingdom are prepared to go through a desert experience and cannot be swayed by public opinion.
The prophets and mystics among us have a different perspective. Their holistic view of life helps them witness the values of the Kingdom through their prophetic involvements, which often require them to speak up to withstand the violence around them. John the Baptist is a model held up to us as a disciple with the fervour and audacity to proclaim the truth of the Kingdom at the cost of his life.
Lord, You hold me and please do not forsake me.