Marching forward with our shortcomings

At that time, John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the LORD to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” 
~ Luke 7.18

When I was a young girl I briefly entertained the dream of becoming a drum majorette (after receiving a twirling baton for Christmas). I had visions of sending my beautiful baton spinning through the air, dazzling the crowds with my talent. Many of us possess what Martin Luther King Jr. called the “drum-major instinct,” that desire to lead the parade, to be first, to walk in front. The way life goes, however, we are more likely to end up carrying a small banner at the rear or playing the triangle deep in the ranks of the marching band.


Wherever we are in the parade, we can bear witness to God’s power and love, as the two endearingly human disciples of John the Baptist show in today’s Gospel. Sent by their imprisoned leader to question a man who is rumored to be the long-awaited Messiah, they approach Jesus perhaps a bit nervously. They blurt out John’s question verbatim (we can imagine them repeating it constantly along the way, terrified of getting it wrong). In reply, Jesus shows rather than tells: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, the deaf hear.

Then as now, we need only pay attention to see many instances of God’s grace all around us. People with impaired moral vision come to see the truth of his message. Some who are stuck in difficult circumstances can move forward with their lives. Others who have tuned out God’s voice have their ears opened. In every age, the wounds, deficiencies, and shortcomings of human existence are healed through the radiant power of Christ. Let us march forward, then, bearing witness to his work in the world.

Generous and merciful Lord, In this world of constant sorrow, keep my eyes and ears attuned to your healing work every day. Amen.

For today’s readings, click here.

You can access the complete collection of the Advent 2015 Reflection Series here.

If you would like to receive these reflections via a daily e-mail, contact Elizabeth Kirkland Cahill at

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