Simeon proclaimed that Jesus would be a contradiction and so He is, even before He starts His mission. Today’s gospel takes us back to John the Baptist denying he is the Christ. The Pharisees came out to see John because he appeared to be a prophet. There had been no prophet for more than 500 years. The Jewish people were severely oppressed by the Romans. They desperately needed a deliverer. And they thought they knew what their deliverer should look like and how he would act. John seemed to fit the bill. He was a contradiction.
Are you a contradiction? Think about it this way. When you come to mass, what do you expect? Too often we come to mass thinking it is going to be just like anything else in our world. We get there a little too late to pray. We are anxious to get through the readings we have heard many times before. Another dry homily, the priest talks too slow, too fast. A meal to go and out the door. We don’t need to give thanks to God because we didn’t get anything out of mass. Ummm – a contradiction? You got what you expected. With that attitude then you got what you wanted.
A contradiction? How about you get to mass 10 minutes early to pray. Take a moment and look at the readings ahead of time. Pray for your pastor that his message will be effective. Then during the Eucharist prayer offer yourself as the gift. At the end of mass kneel down and thank God. He gave everything for you. Even if you got nothing out of mass thank Him for His donation. A contradiction? It depends.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen