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Blue Smoke

September 20

FOCUS:  Be open to God’s message.

Blue Smoke


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Today’s Gospel is the second part of Jesus’ testimony to John the Baptist. We are asked to reflect on whether we accept the words of Jesus and all the prophets that pointed to Him as the Messiah.

Jesus' message of the kingdom of God is a proclamation of good news that produces great joy and hope for those who will listen - but it is also a warning of disaster for those who refuse to accept God's gracious offer.  Why did the message of John the Baptist and the message of Jesus meet with resistance and deaf ears?  It was out of jealously and spiritual blindness that the scribes and Pharisees attributed John the Baptist's austerities to the devil, and they dismissed Jesus' table fellowship as evidence for pretending to be the Messiah.  They succeeded in frustrating God's plan for their lives because they closed their hearts to the message of John the Baptist and they closed their ears to Jesus, God's anointed Son sent to redeem us from bondage to sin and death.

What can make us spiritually dull and slow to hear God's voice?  Like the generation of Jesus' time, our age is marked by indifference and contempt, especially concerning the message of God's kingdom. Indifference dulls our ears to God's voice and to the hope found in the Gospel message.  Contempt for the words of God is rooted in our self-serving ideas and desires. We don’t want anything or anyone “rocking the boat” and challenging us to consider a different path to happiness.

Both indifference to and contempt for the Gospel message are rooted in pride. Pride tells us that we know what’s best, we know what’s morally right, and we can find true happiness on our own. In essence, we convince ourselves that we can be our own God. Only the humble of heart who are hungry for God can find true joy and happiness.

Our Gospel ends with, “But wisdom is vindicated by all her children." John and Jesus are the children of Wisdom. Those who listen to their message of repentance and embrace Jesus as the Messiah are the ones who will respond to their song of Divine Love, whether it be in good times or in times of trial.

Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection

Do you listen to God's word with expectant faith and the willingness to trust and obey?

Source for today’s reflection:

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