|I.||JL. 2, 15-17; IS. 58, 1-9.|
|II.||2 COR. 6, 1-10.|
|III.||LK. 3, 7-14; 7, 28-35.|
THE Baptist held it against his contemporaries that they claimed descent from Abraham as a principle of God's favor. There was a principle of election at work, he allowed, but it was totally unrelated to race or nation. God chooses those men who will repent, chooses them freely before they repent, chooses them in the very act--the free act--of repentance.
Jesus held it against His contemporaries that they would not heed His kinsman John--a desert-dweller in the Qumran mold-- any more than they would heed Him, a townsman who cheerfully ate and drank with whatever nondescript took it into his head to invite Him.
St. Paul held it against the Corinthian Christians that despite all he had endured in their behalf, they remained somehow closed to him. "Our heart is wide open to you," he says immediately after the passage just read. "On our part there is no constraint; any constraint there may be is in yourselves." Why can they not see, he wonders, that the acceptable time is now, that the day of deliverance has dawned?