Today is Monday the 16th of December, in the third week of Advent.

The choir of Westminster Cathedral sing the Sanctus from Palestrina’s Missa Brevis.     Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might.  Heaven and earth are full of your glory.   What is God’s glory if it is not God’s presence and God’s grace made known?   A busy train, or bus, or tube might not be the first place you’d think of looking for the glory of God.   But, looking around you, at yourself and at your fellow travellers, in these people, in these faces,  can you make it out? -- Can you recognise God’s presence here?

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.

Jesus did many things, and on account of them many people followed him.  Among them, some came to believe in him, some were just curious, but some wanted to test Jesus.  In today’s reading, the chief priests and the elders of the people wanted to find out whether Jesus was acting authentically.  By what authority was he ‘doing these things’?  Are there moments when I find myself casting doubt upon what Jesus says or does?

If I am willing to do the will of the Father, then I will know whether Jesus’ teaching is from God or whether he is ‘doing these things’ of his own authority.  Prejudice gets in the way of a grace-filled encounter with Jesus.  Am I aware of any kind of prejudice in me?

As this passage is read again, hear how Jesus turns the question around and makes his questioners think about what they have just said.  Once they realise what is happening they decline to answer Jesus’ question, and the moment of grace is lost.  They are unable to see the meaning of ‘these things’ and they seem unwilling to receive Jesus. Can I open my heart to receive Jesus and his message today?

Speak to Jesus now.  Perhaps you want him to remove some prejudice or preconceived opinions that seem to hinder you from recognising valuable moments of grace.