Scripture reflections – Sunday, December 5th (Mt 3:1-12)

Second Sunday in Advent

Am I worthy to carry Jesus’ sandals?  Are you?

In this week’s gospel, John the Baptist says he is not worthy to carry Jesus’ sandals.  John the Baptist!  Even Jesus himself praises John as a great prophet.   So if John isn’t worthy, who is?

I know, I know. That’s the point, right?  That gap between Jesus’ in all his divine glory and us in our limited humanity is so vast that the best we can do is to fall to the ground in awe.

And yet – wasn’t the point of the Incarnation to bridge that unfathomable gap?  God walking among us – celebrating with us, praying with us, laughing with us, crying with us, dying with us.  More than anything else, I see the Incarnation – the feast of which at least in its’ visible form we’ll be celebrating in a few weeks on Christmas – as the ultimate expression of  the “audacity of Hope”.  God daring to Hope that each one of us might abandon her/himself to God  with the same exhaustive Love through which God abandonded God’s self to us. 

How exactly does one abandon him/herself to God? By seeing that same beauty and precious value in one another which motivated God to dwell among us.  Rather than focusing on Jesus’ sandals, perhaps the question each one of us ought to ask is: “Am I worthy to carry the sandals of my brother and sister?”

Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)

(To find book length versions of my Scripture reflections, visit www.twentythirdpublications .com)

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