The Word

THIRD FRIDAY ADVENT 2016 REFLECTION: THE WILL OF THE FATHER

Reading

You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. John 5:33-36

Reflection

 “Do not preach”—thus they preach— “one should not preach of such things; . . . ” Micah 2:6

When I read this passage the other day I had to laugh at the hypocrisy Micah is pointing out because it sounded just like the hypocrisy I see in the left today.  It was so similar that I began to wonder if the prophets lived in such times as ours.   Since, instead of a prophet, this last time God sent His only begotten Son then was it the same for the Son as it was for the prophets?  I would say so.

In the times of the prophets the Hebrew people were normally under foreign rule: either literally or figuratively.  Literally, when they were in Egypt and Babylon, or under the dominion of the Greeks and Romans and figuratively, when they had left off following God and followed something or someone else: another nation’s god with its own teachings; their own inclinations, etc.  Whatever the case may be they weren’t following God and, therefore, had either fallen away or were led astray.  From what we read in the New Testament it seems they were under both literal (the Romans) and figurative (teaching of the religious leaders that went against God) foreign rule, as it is in our own time.  We have a worldly people whose beliefs have influenced both our laws and some religious leaders.  There has been either outright aggression against the Word of God, an effort to undermine Him with alliances meant to infiltrate those institutions most faithful to the Word, and a concentrated effort to remove any trace of Him from the public square.

As we know from the prophets, the Gospels, and a witness to our own times that leads to a very hostile environment for anyone doing the works of the Father.  And when both sides are living in one nation, then you have a situation that is summed up nicely in this verse from Esther:

Then Hamane said to King Artaxerxes, “There is a certain nation scattered among the other nations in all your kingdom; their laws are different from those of every other nation, and they do not keep the laws of the king. Esther 3:7-8

In that passage Hamane is speaking of the Jews, but the same could be said of Christ and His disciples: Christ was following God and the laws of the Kingdom of Heaven amidst a people following different civil and religious laws.

This is similar to what is happening today for those living in the world, but not following the world. As I wrote in a previous post, people that undergo similar experiences relate on a different level than those that don’t.  This means we can now better relate to what Christ was up against, which should bring us closer to Him by giving us better insight into the times He lived on earth and, alternatively, having experienced this Himself should reassure us that He is not unsympathetic to our situation.

I think it also helps drive home what we sometimes understand only on a peripheral level: where before we had a little glimmer of comprehension, we now can comprehend more fully: Christ’s entire time on earth was spent for one purpose only: doing the will of the Father.

The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. John 5:36

And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. John 12:45

Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? Matthew 26:53

Jesus answered him, “You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” John 19:11

It didn’t matter what people thought, what they wanted, how much power they felt they had, whether they threatened, whether they liked it or didn’t like it.  Only one thing mattered and that was the will of the Father.  So next time we hear the Church teaching that the Son is one with the Father or that the will of Christ was aligned with the Father, then we can  have a deeper understanding as to what that really means.

May we all be one with Christ!  God bless!

#Advent

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