First Reading: Isaiah 35: 1-6a, 10
The desert and the parched land will exult;
the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers,
and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to them,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.
Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
they will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee.
Second Reading: James 5: 7-10
Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient with it
until it receives the early and the late rains.
You too must be patient.
Make your hearts firm,
because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
- As I reflected on the idea of patience and how horrible I am at embracing it along with how my lack of patience can wreak havoc on my life, I immediately realized where I was. I was sitting with a group of men, some of whom have been inside the walls of prison for the past 30 years of their life, complaining (in my head anyway) about my lack of patience when in reality I don’t know the first thing about it (comparatively speaking).
- So my questions to you is this… Do you think you are a patient person? Does a lack of patience affect all or certain aspects of your life, if so which ones? Do other people (honestly…or ask them) think you are a patient person? If you’re not, what are some ways you can improve? Do you know someone who IS patient, if so ask them how they do it.
Gospel: Matthew 11: 2-11
When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“What did you go out to the desert to see?
A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
- Why do you think Jesus waited 30 years before starting His ministry? Was there a connection to that age and Jewish tradition, or the age of entering the priesthood, or do you think he was waiting for John the Baptist to “anoint” him?
- The last line of the gospel says “there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” How does that line make you feel, does it give you anxiety at all or a feeling of peace? It gave me anxiety at first, so I’d love to hear your thoughts if you were comforted by it.