Read Zephaniah 3:1-2,9-13, Ps. 34:2-3,6-7,16,18-19,23, Matthew 21:28-32
“John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him?” (Matthew 21:32)
For many years, the people of Israel, the chosen race looked forward to the coming of the Messiah. They recited the Old Testament every day hoping that one day God will eventually send them this Messiah. However, when God answered their prayer, they didn’t believe it, they looked down on Jesus, rejected his message, questioned his authority, and doubted his miracles.
John tells us: “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.” (John 1:10-11). God sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for Christ. While the tax collectors and sinners were going to John the Baptist to confess their sins and receive baptism, the self-righteous religious leaders turned a deaf ear.
Even though they recognized that John the Baptist was truly sent from God, they refused to accept Jesus Christ as the long-awaited Messiah. The religious leaders had become what the prophet Zephaniah described in today’s first reading: one who “is rebellious and defiled… She listens to no voice; she accepts no correction…”
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus gave a perfect analogy of these religious leaders. They make everyone believe they are close to God but in reality, they mounted the greatest opposition to God. They are like the first son who said “Yes” to his father but eventually, his actions betrayed his words. Do my actions betray my promises to God?
Have I been praying for something for so long that I now fail to realize that God has already answered my prayer? What is it that I am looking down upon now that I ought to be grateful for?
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, may I not end up celebrating a Christmas that is devoid of Christ. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saint Lucy, Virgin, Martyr. Bible Study: Zephaniah 3:1-2,9-13, Ps. 34:2-3,6-7,16,18-19,23, Matthew 21:28-32)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu