It is 10th December 2015. The readings are from Is.41:13-20 and the Gospel from Mt. 11:11-15. The first reading instils hope to the people who were returning from exile. God offers so much hope to people. God will redeem us. It is not the human agent like Persian king Cyrus become the redeemer rather it is God himself redeems us. “I will help you, says the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Is.41:14). The responsorial Psalm praises God, “The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Ps.144:8). In the Gospel, Jesus praises his cousin John the Baptist over all of us. All those who are living for Jesus and willing to suffer for God’s kingdom are privileged than John the Baptist. John the Baptist is not a resurrected Elijah. John took the prophetic role of Elijah by his courage, unwavering faith, determination and endurance. Without such type of typical spiritual energy, we cannot inherit the kingdom of God. We all need to have such determination to experience God. We all need to play our role during this year of Mercy in bringing our compassion alive. Being merciful in a given situation is indeed a prophetic calling. In order to be merciful, we must begin to practice justice. “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people lay hold of it.”(Mt.11:12). May God grant you peace.

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