We are in a season of expectation. The readings today present us with responses to expectations. In the first reading from Numbers the seer Balaam is expected to utter a curse on the Jewish people requested by the authority of the king. As he stands ready to speak “the spirit of God came upon him” (Num 24:2). Rather than uttering a curse he utters a blessing and a promise, “A star shall advance from Jacob, and a staff shall rise from Israel.”
In the gospel reading the chief priests and the elders, filled with their own authority based on externals and traditions, confront Jesus perhaps expecting him to bend to their authority. Jesus instead confronts and confuses them. Rather than offering an explanation, he stands on his own authority born out of personal integrity and union with the Father.
St. Peter Julian Eymard uncovers the profound love of God in the Eucharist and finds in this experience the courage and the authority to become the Apostle of the Eucharist as he changes both perceptions and expectations of just how deep and intimate God’s love is for us. “Keep your soul at peace, in order to be able to be attentive and very faithful to the inner movement of the Holy Spirit.” (To Mme. Stephanie Gourde, November 25, 1850)
As we move toward the close of Advent let us reflect on our own expectations of how we shall encounter the star ushering the coming of Christ today. Are we open to the spirit coming upon us enabling us to see the world with God’s eyes? Are we willing to put aside our expectations and find that star in surprising and unexpected places?
Is our authority to speak the word of God being shaped by our experience of the intimacy of God with us and within us?
Let us pray:
Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus and fill us with the expectation that your coming will inform and transform us. Amen
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)