O God, You have chosen the apostles to make disciples of all nations and by baptism and confirmation have called all of us to build up Your Holy Church.
he role of John the Baptist was to prepare the way of the Lord. The people of Israel knew their Scriptures. They had read the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Zephaniah. The time was right and the Messiah was coming.
And so today, John is at the River Jordan, baptizing and calling for repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
The crowd that had gathered asked, "What should we do?" The tax collectors asked, "What should we do?" The soldiers asked, "What should we do?"
To each John told them what they must do. He made it clear that their deliverance was not automatic. They had to repent and change their ways. For some strange reason today, this message has been lost to many people.
They think because the Saviour has come they donít have to do anything. They presume salvation is guaranteed. They havenít listened to the Gospel -- the message Jesus preached. Over and over again He has said, "Go and sin no more." Today, the question is not what should we do, but rather, whatís the least we have to do and get away with it?
This was why He was so hard on the Pharisees. They werenít interested in a loving relationship with God. It was a legal relationship. What does the Law demand? Forget the spirit and just follow the letter of the Law.
Iím afraid next weekend weíre going to see this in action. Itís the 4th week of Advent. Sunday night also happens to be Christmas Eve. Two entirely different celebrations.
The Pharisaic approach is, "If I go to Mass Sunday night, will it count for Sunday morning?" The answer is, NO!
"But I can get two for one?"
No, you canít, so donít even think about it; and remember, bargains are not always what they appear to be. If Jesus means as much as we say we should be asking, "Whatís the most we can do?" not, "Whatís the least?"
We may think we get away with a lot, but that just shows how much we have. The Son of God made the great effort and continually Heís asking, "What are you going to do?"
From St. Luke RC parish archives