Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on December 8, 2013

Guercino-Barbieri-Giovanni-Francesco-Mary-with-the-child-Jesus-and-John-the-BaptistGospel reading of the day:

Matthew 3:1-12

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Advent is an opportunity for metanoia, that is, conversion–a Greek word which means literally, a change in our minds. It is easy to not take responsibility for our thoughts and our feelings, to consider ourselves powerless bystanders before the things that march through our minds and hearts. Though it is true that thoughts and st-john-the-baptist-in-the-desert-1651.jpg!Blogfeelings spontaneously arise, we have the capacity, particularly through practice over time, to correct thoughts and change our moods. Both John the Baptist and Jesus called women and men to repent of their old ways of thinking and feeling and put on new minds–as St. Paul says, to put on the mind of Christ. John at the start of this second week of Advent reaches across the centuries to ask us to produce good fruit and not rely on any false thoughts or misleading emotions. If we have casual attitudes to the demands of our faith, we may consider Advent and Christmas to be mere commemorations of what happened in the past. But they are timeless encouragement to not be stuck in a rut of mediocrity but to enter deeply into way of being that transforms us into fiery beings.

Spiritual reading: You keep us waiting. You, the God of all time, Want us to wait. For the right time in which to discover Who we are, where we are to go, Who will be with us, and what we must do. So thank you … for the waiting time. (John Bell)


One Response

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  1. Sharon Brooks said, on December 8, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    My thoughts are very powerful; the tricks they play on me… my heart. Clouds of illusion are at times difficult to navigate through, voices telling me things I know are not true. Out of love I’m thrown into the jungle, seemingly without a guide, only to remember it never left my side; clinging to form instead of non form has made me blind. From now on I will follow Love, that’s what I’ll do and see… perhaps for the first time.

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