In today’s Gospel we can re-cast the question Our Lord posed to the chief priests and elders: what is, for us, the real reason behind the season of Advent? Is it a human reason or divine one? The chief priests and elders wimped out and avoiding answering the question because they knew whatever they said would be unpopular. Does that sound familiar? Are we afraid to take a position on the reason for this season, or are we playing both sides to avoid trouble, observing more secular Christmas traditions with some and more religious ones with others?
This apparent paradox is woven into this season and reflects what is really behind it: what’s coming is not only due to God and from God, but, rather God himself is coming. God is coming after assuming a human nature: something from God has become something of man too. The danger is discounting the divine part in favor of the human: then we’re celebrating the birthday of someone who had a great impact on the world a few thousand years ago, and not the birthday of Our Savior. It’s the difference between giving witness to God being behind the season and simply considering it another social convention to follow.
Even in Advent God is on the move. Let’s share that joyful news and what it means to us and to the world. He is coming to save us.
Readings: Numbers 24:2–7, 15–17a; Psalm 25:4–5ab, 6, 7bc, 8–9; Matthew 21:23–27. See also 8th Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday.