It’s very easy for us to want to be like everyone else out there. God chose His people to be uniquely His own, but very often they identified more readily with entirely worldly values. They wanted to be like the other nations — especially in the matter of kingship. The judges who helped Moses in his unenviable task of keeping the people of Israel faithful to the covenant discouraged the people from seeking kings. But God relented and gave them their king, and of course, the whole enterprise ended up being a mess from top to bottom.
We are often tempted, especially in today’s world, to be like others. And yet we were summoned, chosen in Baptism, to be in relationship, in a distinctive way, with a loving God. Having this great vocation, we should ask ourselves constantly as we examine our consciences, “Am I fulfilling my side of my covenant relationship with God?” Almost always, we have to admit that we are not.
That is why, in preparing for Christmas during this season of Advent, the importance of honesty with God is highlighted. It only makes sense, of course, to be honest to God because God knows everything about us. He knows our inmost thoughts and the secrets of our hearts. And yet so often we try to hide from Him. This is what happened in Israel. As the kings strayed further and further away from the ideal, there arose the prophets, who became more and more important in salvation history. ….