Saturday 13 October 2018

Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent

Years ago, I recall receiving an e-mail about a lady who was looking for a Mr. Right. In other words, the lady was fishing for a husband. It so happened that the lady came across a building with a sign saying: "Search a Husband Here." Also, there was another sign saying: "You can enter this building only once and stop at each floor only once." The building had 7 floors and the lady excitedly entered the lift at the ground floor. When the lift reached the first floor, the doors of the lift opened and the lady saw a sign in front of her saying: "Enter here for a husband who is handsome and strong." The lady decided to remain in the lift, curious to know what the next floors would be. At the second floor, the sign in front of her said: "Enter here for a husband who is handsome, strong, and a good cook." The sign at the third floor said: "Enter here for a husband who is handsome, strong, a good cook, and loves children." The lady became more and more curious and excited, and she decided to remain in the lift and see what the other floors would reveal. As she reached the fourth, fifth and sixth floor, the sign in front of her on each floor revealed even more fantastic capabilities and attributes of the men supposingly to be found at each floor. Finally the lady reached the seventh floor and when she got out of the lift, all she saw was a flight of stairs going down, and a sign which said: "No men can be found here, since no men could ever meet your expectations at this level."

Today’s gospel tells us about a Mr. Right, the right man to foretell the coming of the Messiah. According to the scribes, the prophet Elijah is the right person to prepare the coming of the Messiah, since they believed that Elijah was the precursor of the Messiah, and that Elijah was a terrible man preaching doom and destruction. Yet when John the Baptist came and announced the coming of the Messiah, somebody greater than him, the scribes did not accept him as Mr. Right. For them, John’s person and message was not up to their expectations. He preached about baptism and personal conversion, not about the terror that will go with the day of the Lord. For them John was not Elijah, not Mr. Right. Yet, the irony is, John actually turned our to be Mr, Right, not according to our expectations, but according to God's plans.

What about us? Have our expectations clouded us and prevented us from accepting the message of John the Baptist, the actual Mr. Right, and prepare the way for the Lord? May we open our eyes, ears and hearts, so that we would be able to let the message of John the Baptist change us, so that we would learn to walk in God's ways and glorify Him in all we do.