Being Filled with Great Expectations

Week of January 10, 2016

The first line of the Gospel sets the tone for our liturgical year.  We are to be filled with great expectations.  The people in biblical times were looking for the Messiah.  They were intently listening to all who were speaking wisdom to figure out who could it be.  They would go from place to place looking into the fire of the eyes of those who spoke of God and God’s teachings.  Many heard of the preacher at the shore of Galilee.  Many heard how He was powerful in calling out darkness and sin. He was of clear vision to speak wisdom.  It is in the seeking that we learn about the goodness of God’s salvation.

Because of His clear vision, John the Baptist was quick to tell everyone he was not the Messiah.  It was not him.  He only speaks words of this earth, but the One who would come after him would speak words of the divine.  We are called to live in these times with great expectations. We are called to live in these times with great joy.  We know the Messiah.  We experience His Real Presence in the Sacraments.  His revealing love and His revealing forgiveness propels us to hope.

Because we have been Baptized we have been given the pledge of grace.  We have had original sin washed away.  Because this has happened to us, we are to live in the expectation of the Lord’s encounter with us whenever we celebrate the Sacraments.  We have had the obstacles removed that would hinder us from His love.

On this feast we are to find within ourselves the same desire and hunger for the Messiah, the anointed one of God, as did those in biblical times.  Because of all that God had done for us, we are to ignite a deep desire.  The guesswork is over for us, because we know who the Messiah is, but the thirst for Him, the search for Him is to grow ever stronger.  What are our expectations when we encounter Jesus?  What are the words we long to hear from our God?

Rev. John J. Ouper