December 15, 2014 Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17a; Matthew 21:23-27
Reflection by Sister M. Albertine Stachowski, cssf
Today’s readings include a mix of questions … challenges … predictions … and doubts. There are twists and turns in both readings.
In the first reading: Balaam starts with an agenda to curse the Israelites. What happens is … he is unable to carry out that plan. Why was that? As we hear in the reading … the spirit of God overtakes him … and he ends up being an instrument of God’s word. Not quite what he expected! His eyes are opened and he tells of the expected Messiah who will bring victory over the enemies of God’s people.
In the Gospel: the Jewish leaders again are after Jesus … questioning the source of His authority. They too have an agenda that they are unable to carry out. Jesus responds in an unexpected way … He answers their question by stumping them with His own question. They are forced to plead ignorance because they recognize that any answer they give would turn the people against them.
They lack clear vision … they do not see the hand of God in the mission of John the Baptist … nor of Jesus.
We are not unlike those people in the scriptures. We all have agendas.
During this third week of Advent we need to assess our vision. How clearly are we focused on things that matter during this time?
May our sights be on Jesus … as we come closer to the celebration of His birth.