Archive for January 2, 2020

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: January 2, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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Make a straight way for the Lord. Be steadfast in your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who has anointed you with the truth by your very own baptism. And He will surely come to you, His faithful and fill you with His presence.

This is my takeaway from today’s readings and what a brother in Christ Sully (not his real name) shared with me recently encapsulates it all nicely.

A couple of years back Sully who is a catechist had asked me what was it like to be in a faith community and what goes on at the prayer meetings. I was excited to share my experience and at the end invited him to ‘come and see’. He came one evening and thereafter remained in our community even getting his wife to join us. Sully is a very good natured man and is a delight to be around with. However he shared one day that while he truly belives in Christ and all, he had not encountered Him the way many of us described. He was amazed at how alive our faith was for some of us and was not quite sure his own faith was as ‘alive’ so to speak. I would describe Sully as a rather learned man who loves to read when he can, and one of his favourites is reading up on the writings of Blessed Archbishop Fulton Sheen. I was rather puzzled at how this loving man who teaches and shares the faith had not had a deep personal encounter with our Lord?

Anyhow just two days ago he shared his profound experience and encounter of our Lord’s love outpoured on him. He was apparently ill for over a week with high fever. Then as he was recovering he made a decision to give up on coffee. By doing so he found he had more energy the rest of the day and he could actually pray more. Then at a recent Eucharistic Celebration he felt the Outpouring of God’s love and teared as he had never before. He finally understood firsthand what we had been sharing with him. I was so thrilled and overjoyed to hear his testimony, and to witness the glow on his face. This loving man is transformed into being even more loving! Praise and glory be to Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Amen

First reading

1 John 2:22-28 ·
The anointing he gave you teaches you everything

The man who denies that Jesus is the Christ – he is the liar, he is Antichrist; and he is denying the Father as well as the Son, because no one who has the Father can deny the Son, and to acknowledge the Son is to have the Father as well.
Keep alive in yourselves what you were taught in the beginning as long as what you were taught in the beginning is alive in faith,
you will live in the Son and in the Father;
and what is promised to you by his own promise is eternal life.
This is all that I am writing to you about the people who are trying to lead you astray.
But you have not lost the anointing that he gave you, and you do not need anyone to teach you; the anointing he gave teaches you everything; you are anointed with truth, not with a lie, and as it has taught you, so you must stay in him.
Live in Christ, then, my children, so that if he appears, we may have full confidence, and not turn from him in shame at his coming.

Gospel

John 1:19-28
‘One is coming after me who existed before me’

This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ.’ ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?’ ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied:

a voice that cries in the wilderness:
Make a straight way for the Lord.’

Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’ John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.