Today, in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus remarked on how people responded to John the Baptist and to himself. Some claimed John was possessed by a demon, and people called Jesus a glutton. Mt 11:16-19. It is amazing how we deflect the good news when we don’t want to hear it. At the same time, I am reminded of the portrayal of the disciples in the Gospels, and how confused they were and trying to ponder things that were beyond their comprehension.
This tells me that there is something within us that wants to avoid the deepest truth of the Gospel. There’s something within us that wants to keep some semblance of our earthly self, while doing the bare minimum to keep a foothold in the kingdom of God. We want eternal life, but we also want it be ok to live our lives the way we want to.
This further tells me that we must spend our life being on guard against this dichotomy within us. We must constantly be at war with ourselves. We must be actively aware that the Gospel always goes deeper, and that we must always be striving for the greatest expression of the Gospel in our lives.
We are not alone in our fight. Jesus came to save, and he continues to come to save. He’s here in the person of the Holy Spirit, who is our advocate and guide. Be aware that he is constantly shining a flashlight on these areas where we do not want to see. We must be actively praying that he help us be open to where he is shining his light, and learn to cooperate with him in his efforts to deliver us from all that holds us back. In so doing, we will learn to live life to the fullest. We will learn to live in joy despite any negative circumstances.
Spend some time with the Holy Spirit seeking to be open to where you resist the Gospel. Ask him to open your heart to the fullness of truth. Ask him to teach you how to cooperate with him and his salvific effort. Ask him to help you make a home for Jesus, that your heart may be the Inn where Jesus lays his head this Christmas. Spend some time praising God for all that he does for the good of his kingdom.