Friday of the Third Week of Advent Father Shawn Aaron, LC
Jesus said to the Jews: "You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept testimony from a human being, but I say this so that you may be saved. John was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John's. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me."
Introductory Prayer: Father, you turn our weakness into strength. Give us the courage to bear witness to your truth. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Petition: Jesus, let me live this day united to you.
1. John Was a Burning and Shining Lamp: The beauty of creation confesses the beauty of the Creator. The order of the universe shows his wisdom and providence. And the saints reveal God's holiness in a magnificent way. Such was the case with St John the Baptist. John's light was not his own. It was God's grace, with which John collaborated by his sincere effort to seek and serve God in all things. Genuine union with God makes the heart and soul glow with holiness.
2. For a While You Were Content to Rejoice in His Light: The not so distant death of Pope Saint John Paul II demonstrates the attractive force of holiness as lived by the saints. At his funeral, the multitudes came to pay respects to the one they esteemed to be a "man of God." In the same way, the multitudes came to John the Baptist to hear his message which resonated in their hearts. His message and example stirred their hearts with the hope that he might be the long-awaited Messiah. However, the saints never try to draw us to themselves. Like living signs, they point beyond themselves to a greater reality: Jesus. Souls never come to us to admire the brilliance of our extraordinary human gifts, but only to receive the warmth of holiness and true love for our Lord.
3. But I Have Testimony Greater than John's: The saints are examples of holiness but Jesus himself is the source and model of all holiness (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 459). As Jesus comes to establish God's Kingdom in every human heart, even the holiness of the greatest of saints is but a dim reflection of the grandeur of God the Father. Jesus continuously acknowledges that love for his Father is the driving force in his life. He comes to reveal his Father to us, and in so doing he announces and procures our eternal adoption as the Father's children.
Dialogue with Christ: Jesus, I want to live united to you in prayer so as to live faithfully to you in my actions. You are holy and ask me to be holy. I want to be holy not for my own sake, but as a way of loving you and bringing others to know you. Without your grace I cannot do this. Mother Most Pure, make my heart only for Jesus.
Resolution: Today I will read about prayer from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (hint: the fourth and final section of the Catechism).