Matthew 4: 12-17; 23-25
My heavenly Father, you made me out of your
infinite love. Even though I have failed to love you as a good child should, still you send me gift
upon gift. You sent your Son to redeem me and to make me one with you, in and through your Son. You
and your only beloved Son sent your Spirit of love and truth, the Holy Spirit, to dwell in me. Thank
you for bringing me into the intimacy of your Triune love. In return, I offer you my own heart and
my desire to respond generously to whatever you ask of me.
Jesus, help me to open my heart to you.
1. The True Light Is Here:
John the Baptist did all that the Father had asked. Through it all he remained humble. The
people thought he was the Christ; however, he would not allow the winds of pride to extinguish the
light of truth, so he proclaimed that he was not the Christ. The world rewarded John the Baptist
with silence and death. On the contrary, what treasure did God bestow upon him for his fidelity?
Acclaim – “Welcome my good and faithful servant” – and eternal life. John was merely the voice
calling people to repent and convert. Now the Word himself proclaims these words. John was a voice
in the wilderness. Now the Word who is light and life itself enters the public scene. May the light
of truth open our hearts to the true and everlasting Kingdom. Am I able to distinguish between what
is gold in God’s eyes and what glistens so attractively yet is merely “fool’s gold”? Is this
capacity consistent with what I preach by my word and example?
2. Jesus Preaches with More
Our Lord Jesus went about doing only good: healing the sick, comforting the
lonely, forgiving sinners, and preaching the Gospel. Our faith tells us this, and we can visualize
it as we read the Gospel. But do we really encounter our Lord like those who crossed his path 2,000
years ago? I can answer this question by looking at my life: Do I live more and more like Christ, or
not? Do I appreciate and thank Christ for all the good he has done in my life? Do I want with all of
my heart to be with Christ forever, on earth and in heaven? Where my heart is, there is my treasure.
Like Christ, I am called to preach with more than words.
3. People Respond to the
A disciple of Christ can never be discouraged, because people do respond to the
truth, to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We see this throughout the Gospels and throughout the history
of the Church. When our efforts to evangelize seem to fall on hard ground, we need to examine how we
will react. Christ commanded us to preach his gospel in word and deed. He demanded that we produce
fruit. Christ also said we would do greater things than he did. We also know that Christ has
defeated sin and death. Knowing all this, how can we be discouraged by the lack of fruit in our
efforts to evangelize? We do the work, and Christ takes care of the rest. It’s that simple.
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, you came to save sinners; enter into my life
on this new day. Remove all fear that I have of you, Lord
Jesus. Teach me that you are
a God of compassion and that
you are meek and humble of heart.
I will develop a simple plan to help my parish in its efforts to