John was a burning and shining lamp – Fr. Augustine
20111216 Friday of the Third Week of Advent (Jn 5:33-36)
My dear brothers and sisters,
As Advent draws near to its end, Christmas is just 10 days away. As we know that Jesus was not born in order to invent Christmas. Jesus was born to do much more important things than that!
The Lord wants His house to be full, all to be saved, and all to have a real Christmas. After all, He became a man and died on the cross to give us salvation. He wants to save us much more than we want to be saved.
John was a burning and shining lamp.
In Today’s Gospel Jesus upholds John the Baptist to the crowds. John is honored as a burning and a shining lamp. He had a fire in his heart burning with love for the coming of Jesus Christ.
John was not the light itself, shining of itself but he was the lamp which receives light from the Lord. So, John the Baptist was always a burning and shining lamp in witness to our Lord.
Our God also called us to be a burning and shining lamp in the world. This morning the example of John Baptist will challenge us regarding our witness to the Lord Jesus Christ.
If we need to know what is on fire in our hearts, we need to remember ourselves the Rule of Saint Benedict Chapter 72, the good Zeal of Monks: Try to be the first in showing respect to one another. Supporting one another’s weaknesses of body or behavior with the greatest patience. Competing in trying to show obedience to one another. Not pursuing what we think is best for ourselves but looking for what is best for the other. Giving a pure love of brothers to the other brothers. Giving loving fear to God. Giving honest and humble love to their abbot.
These are really the benedictine way in which we are a burning and shining lamp.
If we live in this way, we can recognize what it is to prefer nothing at all to Jesus Christ.
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