Tag Archives: John the Baptist

3rd Sunday of Advent: The Lord comes with power.

heaven

Study:  Consider a moment when you were greatly helped by someone.  How did it feel to have their support?

Pray: Set before the Lord your challenges and remember in your daily prayers the needs of others.

Serve: How has the Lord blessed you to help others?  What gifts and talents do you possess that make a difference today?

Mass Readings – 3rd Sunday of Advent

Isaiah’s prophecy proclaims the power and might of God.  Among the words of the 1st reading we find:

Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing. (Is. 35:3-6)

These are words of hope!  In the midst of the challenges of life the Lord comes to strengthen our hearts and renew our lives.  Yes, there are difficulties; yet we face them boldly – supported by the grace and power of God.

This hope in God’s power appears in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus cites this passage from Isaiah to the disciples of John the Baptist.  Christ is the one who fulfills the words of the prophet; he is the one who comes to save us.

What’s more, those that receive this saving grace – the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven – are greater than all the prophets, including John.  In other words, when we accept the power and might of God we are transformed into a new creation as the old bondage of sin and death is destroyed.

May we claim this saving grace today!  As we call upon the Lord in our daily prayers, we ask that the power and might of Jesus Christ heals our hearts and strengthens our souls.  We have work to do!  May God’s grace help us to make it happen.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on December 5, 2016.


2nd Sunday of Advent: Repent and prepare for the Lord. Catholic Inspiration

John the Baptist speaks with fiery eloquence, urging the people to prepare for the one who will baptize with fire. In light of his words, may we take the opportunity today to honestly reflect on our lives and confess our sins in preparation for the coming of Christ.

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of Advent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


2nd Sunday of Advent: Repent and Forgive.

Study:  Is there anything keeping you from God or another person right now?  What steps do you need to take to make it right?

Pray:  Call upon the Lord for the strength to repent and seek forgiveness.  Remember – the harder it is the more powerful the healing!

Serve:  Is there some way you can be an agent of forgiveness?  How can you bring people closer to God and one another?

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of Advent 

John the Baptist comes on the scene blazing like a torch as he exhorts the people to repent of their sins.  He minces no words with the Pharisees and Sadduccees; rather, he makes it clear that the path to God leads through the good fruit of our actions.

John is blunt and direct.  There is no spin in his message, no soft touch.  He comes to us as a verbal bulldozer, seeking to carve out a direct route that leads to the Lord.  I can only imagine what it was like to be in his presence, eager to hear his words yet feeling the sting of his speech.  After all, repentance is a great thing to talk about…but often painful to put into practice.

And yet nothing brings about healing faster than forgiveness.  When relationships are wounded and we find ourselves in a broken and fragile place, repentance clears the ground and allows us to rebuild our lives in an honest and direct fashion.

Repentance has some key components:

  • Knowing good from bad
  • Taking ownership for when our actions have been bad
  • Seeking to turn away from the bad and strive to embrace the good
  • Claiming the mercy and grace of God to renew our lives
  • Asking for forgiveness and putting it into practice

As we prepare in this Advent season for the birth of the Messiah, we have the opportunity to examine our hearts and consider what is not worthy of the Lord.  Using a good examination of conscience or just the common sense in our souls we have the chance today to repent of our sins, seek forgiveness from God and one another, and live each day in the light and power of Christ.

John tells us that while he baptizes for repentance, the Lord will baptize us in Spirit and fire – allowing us to draw into the very heart of God’s love.  Only through repentance will we be able to encounter the burning intensity of divine charity; for when we stand before the Lord whatever is not fitting will burn away.  May we cast out whatever is not worthy, and prepare to welcome His holy fire with open hearts.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on November 28, 2016.


Daily Mass: The death of John the Baptist. Catholic Inspiration

The death of John the Baptist makes it clear that in no uncertain terms there is a price for following the Lord. Our “yes” to God means that we will follow a path where sacrifice will be part of the offering of our lives.

Mass Readings – The Passion of St. John the Baptist

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: The sacrifice of John the Baptist. Catholic Inspiration

The death of John the Baptist assaults our senses for its cruelty, pettiness and injustice. As John precedes the Lord in life, so also he precedes him in death…reminding us that the offering of our lives will include profound sacrifice.

Mass Readings – Saturday of the 17th Week of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: The testimony for Jesus Christ. Catholic Inspiration

When questioned about the “testimony” he can offer about himself, Jesus points to John the Baptist, his works and the words of his Father.  Finally, he directs people to reflect upon Moses, whose words and actions are fulfilled in the saving passion, death and resurrection of the Christ.

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

Photo Credit: Son of God, 2014.


Daily Mass: The death of John the Baptist

The death of John the Baptist reminds us of the cost of discipleship.  Yet as we look at the Cross of Christ, we find hope and strength to face the hardship of life with the conviction of the Lord’s saving death and resurrection.

Mass Readings – Friday of the 4th Week of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives