Jesus wasn’t what people expected. What do we expect from Jesus? Christopher Alt, SJ, reflects on John the Baptist’s message of repentance and the importance of checking our expectations. Based on the readings for Sunday, December 6, 2020.
A friend once told me: “Expectations are resentments under construction.”
Hi, I’m Christopher Alt, and this is my One-Minute Reflection.
I once visited a restaurant with all kinds of hype. After my meal, I thought, “meh”. It simply didn’t live up to my expectations. If that was my feeling for a restaurant, I can only imagine what people must have felt when they first met Jesus.
Most anticipated a powerful political messiah who was gonna wipe out the Romans, and instead, they got a poor, backwoods, son-of-a-carpenter, who preached mercy. And who ultimately suffered a humiliating death. Their expectations were way off. And for some, their resentment turned murderous.
In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist shouts “Repent,” which means “Change your mind!” In other words, John was telling people to check their expectations.
As we begin this liturgical year, our lesson might be this: be willing to check expectations; to change your mind, trusting that God’s promises might be fulfilled in ways more wild than we could’ve ever dreamed.