Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection 12-9-22

Friday the 2nd week of Advent, December, 9, 2022
Is 48:17-19, Ps 1: 1-4, 6, Mt 11:16-19

Today, on the feast day of St. Juan Diego, we are about to come to the end of the 2nd week of Advent. Our focus will switch from reflecting on our own sinful nature, to one of anticipation. Waiting for the Lord to come to us. St. Juan Diego, a patient and devoted man, was visited by our Lady, and was asked to build a church in her honor. He went to the local bishop who doubted what he said and asked him to return with a sign. After his uncle became ill and Juan thought his uncle would die, Juan ran down to St. James convent in his village to get a priest. On the way, he was visited again by a woman. She introduced herself as “Our Lady of Guadalupe.” She told Juan his uncle was healed and that he should bring roses to the Bishop as the sign he asked for, and ask the Bishop to build the church again. Even though roses were not in bloom that time of year, Juan did what he was told. When Juan dropped his cloak, the roses in full bloom dropped out and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was there on his cloak. The Bishop and his attendants fell to their knees and readily agreed to build the church. Juan’s patience and anticipation of seeing our Lady again, is a great example we can emulate as we wait for our Lord to come this Christmas. 

In our Gospel today, Jesus runs into issues with those around Him who did not want to believe what He was saying. It did not matter what He wanted to teach them; they would not listen. And, I had a feeling He was a little irritated at the crowds around Him that day because He called them out for their not-so-nice comments. As Jesus said to them, you say John (the Baptist) was too good and He, Jesus was, a drunkard! It seems like Jesus was not getting any respect that day. But Jesus was not worried, because over time, wisdom will prosper. And, over time, we too will understand what Jesus’ message is all about. 

The Prophet Isaiah exhorts us also to listen to where the “good” comes from. “I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good.” If only we would listen and not be stubborn hearted like those around Jesus. Blessed is the Man who follows not the counsel of the wicked, the psalm cries out, but delights in the law of the Lord. Go to the Lord your God, as Isiah says, and listen to what Jesus says. If we follow St. Juan Diego’s example of devotion, patience, and anticipation, we, too, can hear what Jesus is trying to say. Like the Bishops, we will see the signs soon enough, and we will fall to our knees in worship. Spend the next two weeks in anticipation. And as you do, listen for the wonderful message of our salvation that Jesus has to offer. For He is the Good we need to listen to, and He is the way we should go. 

Published by St. James, Belvidere

Saint James Catholic Church, Belvidere, IL