Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Evangelize

Lectio
At that time, John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”  When the men came to the Lord, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’” At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits; he also granted sight to many who were blind.  And Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.  And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” (Lk 7:18b-23)
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John is in prison but must hear news of Jesus’ ministry. John can’t do anything from prison, so he sends two of his disciples to ask Jesus right out, if He is v. 19 “…the One Who is to come…” The holy scriptures make frequent references to a coming prophet, Mal 3:1, Deut 18:15. It is understood by John and his disciples that the prophetic office would find its completion in a Messiah. And when John’s disciples come upon Jesus healing the sick, they quickly think of Isa 29: 18-19; 35: 5-6. They hopefully ask Jesus, “Are you the One…?” They are told to report back to John “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard…” And when Jesus quotes Isa 29: 18-19; 35: 5-6! John’s disciples must have raced back.
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John’s two disciples are told to tell John v. 22 “what you have seen and heard.” This is what we are to do, not only John’s disciples and Jesus’ apostles. Tell the world about Jesus. Spread the Good News. Evangelize. The apostles will carry this mission out even when persecuted. Do we?

John is also warned v. 23 “And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” Jesus is warning us not to hinder God’s plan. Jesus’ Good News is to proclaim “glad tiding to the poor…a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Luke 4: 18-19) Do not block Jesus. Accept Him. Help spread His Good News. 

Today is also the Memorial of St. John of the Cross. St. John was an sixteenth century Spanish mystical poet. He is famous for writing “The Dark Night of the Soul.” This meditation closes with St. John’s words of prayer. You must love Jesus to work for Him effectively. Love Him and tell the world. 

“No matter how much individuals do through their own efforts, they cannot actively purify themselves enough to be disposed in the least degree for the divine union of the perfection of love. God must take over and purge them in that fire that is dark for them, as we will explain.”  (St. John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul) 
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My Jesus, we wish to do great deeds for You. Help us with Your grace to do Your Will. Through our preaching of the Good News, may our work please You. May everyone come to know You. You who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplatio: 
Jesus is the promised Messiah.  May our lives give witness to this Truth.  Be open to God’s plan.

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