Memorial of Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church
I will make an extra effort today to show through my actions what it means to love Christ and one another.
Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of
God who came into this world to save us because you love us. Your Incarnation fills me with hope.
The only response I can give is to love you with all my heart, soul, strength and
Jesus, help me to learn from St. John the Baptist how to
bring others to you.
1. Making Jesus Known:
The next few days have readings on
John the Baptist. These lead up to this Sunday's feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the
manifestation of Jesus to the world. Tradition has linked several similar events to Epiphany.
Although the first one is the coming of the Magi to Bethlehem, Christ's Baptism in the Jordan is
also a key moment of revelation — of epiphany — of Jesus' mission and divinity. Thus, although the
Baptism of the Lord has its own feast day a week after Epiphany, the two events have a common
result: They make known the truth of Jesus. A first question we need to ask ourselves is: What am
I, a believer in Christ, doing to make the truth of Jesus known to others?
Power of Humility:
In this reading, John the Baptist demonstrates the attitude fundamental to
making Christ known: humility. John the Baptist had the chance to be considered the Messiah, the
Christ. True, eventually the deception would become known, but for a while he could have had all of
Israel at his feet. All too often today, people give in to temptation and compromise their
principles to get glory and power for a day — think of businessmen who inflate their company's
profits, or scientists who fake their results. Their inevitable downfall is tragic. St. John the
Baptist knows that the only way he can serve God and fulfill his mission in life is to direct all
glory to God and none to himself, never presuming to be more than he is. We, too, can live as true
Christians and make Jesus present to others only if we put aside our own pride and
3. Living Love:
What really makes John the Baptist's message effective is
that he doesn't just preach his message; he is his message. He preaches penance, but first he lives
it, going out into the desert and living an ascetic life. He baptizes with water, but first he gets
into the water. If we want to make Jesus known to others, we first have to know him ourselves. We
cannot preach the essence of the Gospel, the message of love, if we don't live love in our daily
lives. We can't criticize, judge others, and always "look out for number one" (where "one" is
ourselves) and still hope to be an effective apostle of Christ. However, if with the help of God's
grace, we do our best to put love into action, then words will hardly be necessary. Our example
alone will change people's lives.
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, when I look at
myself and my life, I see that too
often I have been selfish, focused on what I enjoy
and on what I want. Help me to love you above all things.
Help me want to make
you known by living love,
even at the cost of my own pride and
I will make an extra effort today to show
through my actions what it means to love Christ and one another.