Homily for Wednesday, December 14, 2016
“Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”… “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk,
the lepers are cleansed, the dear hear, the dead are raised,
the poor have good news brought to them.”
I have a hunch that the question John’s disciples put to Jesus is a question that we all ask: “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” All human hearts seek God. Like the newly-born baby bird who falls out of his nest in P.D. Eastman’s children’s classic, Are you my mother?, and who runs around asking various things, “Are you my mother?”(the dog, the airplane, the steam shovel) so do all of us humans run around to different things to ask, “Are you the one who is to come? Are you God?”
All human hearts seek God. But only God is God (and not the steam shovel, or the plane or the dog). And Jesus urges John’s disciples – he urges us! – to pay attention. “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard.” Pay attention! Pay attention to what brings healing and wholeness; pay attention to what makes life more full and gives joy. Pay attention to what enables us to better relate to and serve others. Because giving life and health, and bringing wholeness is what God does. Other “gods” whom we may think are gods might beguile us with false “mothers:” with money, with power, with good repute. But our real “mother” is God, who is known by the fruits of healing and sight, of lepers being cleansed, of good news being brought and the dead being raised.
During the remainder of this Advent season, I invite us to pay attention. I invite us to pay attention to what is life-giving, what makes us more whole, what enables us to participate more fully in God’s healing and reconciliation of this world, for it is in these that we will find our hearts’ desire, who is God, our real mother.