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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 16.12.2022

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 16.12.2022

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ISAIAH 56: 1 – 3a, 6 – 8

Thus says the LORD: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people.” For thus says the LORD: “The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, every one who keeps the sabbath, and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant, these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Thus says the Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 67: 2 – 3, 5, 7 – 8 (R.) 4

R/. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!

O God, be gracious and bless us
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
and all nations learn your salvation. R/.

Let the nations be glad and shout for joy,
with uprightness you rule the peoples;
you guide the nations on earth. R/.

The earth has yielded its fruit
for God, our God, has blessed us.
May God still give us his blessing
that all the ends of the earth may revere him. R/.

ALLELUIA

Alleluia. Alleluia.
Come, Lord, visit us in peace, that we may rejoice in your presence with hearts made new.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“John was a burning and shining lamp.”
JOHN 5: 33 – 36

At that time: Jesus said to the Jews, “You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony which I receive is from man; but I say this that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has granted me to accomplish, these very works which I am doing, bear me witness that the Father has sent me.”

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: The Love of the Father
December 16, 2022

“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.” (John 5:35–36)

It’s true that when we have something good, something we enjoy, something we are grateful for, we easily rejoice in that good thing. But when the good thing we have is replaced by something even better, we move on from the old and cling to the new. On a supernatural level, this is what happened as people moved from being followers of Saint John the Baptist to followers of Jesus.

At first, many people were content rejoicing in the “light” of John. They enjoyed his preaching and his personal witness and saw the effects in their lives of the baptism of repentance he offered. But as people were pointed to Jesus, becoming His new followers, they would have been even more joyful and at peace being with their newfound Lord. The initial transition might have been difficult. But as they came to know the very Person of Jesus, they would have been deeply grateful.

The passage above points out this spiritual principle. For so many people, “John was a burning and shining lamp,” and his followers were very content with all that John gave to them. But Jesus points out to John’s followers that His testimony is so much greater.

What was Jesus’ “testimony?” First, He says that it is the works the Father gave Him to perform. These were His miracles, His preaching and His personal witness of virtue that left so many in awe. But Jesus goes on to say that the Father has also testified on His behalf. This means that Jesus’ greatness is especially found in the fact that those who encountered Him were also encountering the Father in Heaven Whom they do not see with their eyes. But Jesus is clear that when they see and listen to Him, they are also encountering the Father.

One thing this tells us is that we must be open to the testimony of the Father in our lives. The testimony of the Father is accomplished by allowing our souls to truly hear the voice of the Father speaking to us through the instrumentality of the Son. All that Jesus did and spoke in the Scriptures, all the graces transmitted through the Sacraments, and every encounter with our Lord through prayer are ways of coming to know the Father in Heaven.

Reflect, today, upon the profound reality that God the Father wants a deep and personal relationship with you. He wants to speak to you, reveal Himself to you and draw close to you. Don’t allow this Advent to pass by without prayerfully seeking out His voice, allowing Him to testify to you about His love and care for you. The Son of God came into this world so that He could become one with you. And through that oneness, He reveals to you the love of the Father in Heaven.

PRAYER:
Most holy Father in Heaven, I do desire to come to know You and Your perfect and intimate love for me. Please open my mind and heart to You more fully this Advent season so that I can turn from all fading and passing lights of this world and come to the one and profound Light of Your loving Heart. Jesus, I trust in You.

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