Saturday, August 29, 2009

With John the Baptist, hope in and be zealous for the Lord

"John had heard in prison of the works of Christ. Ponder the admirable courage of this precursor of the Messias. He was not afraid of publicly denouncing the sinful marriage of the wicked king, but preferred chains, and prison, and death rather than concealing or being a traitor to the truth. Such ought to be the conduct of all good Christians, particularly of apostolic men. They ought to be full of zeal for the cause of God, to be constant and firm in asserting His rights, and they ought not yield to either threats or flattery.

John being in prison, he sent two of his disciples to ask of Christ, Art though he who is to come? The Baptist did not doubt that Christ was the Messias, but he wished his disciples to be confirmed in their faith. Charity always seeks the good of others. On your part, rejoice and give thanks to God for having come among us, and for not having held the world any longer in suspense. Be grateful for the benefits resulting from His Incarnation.

To this question Christ answers, Go and report to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise, the poor have the gospel preached to them. Christ does not expressly declare that He is the Messias, to avoid even the shadow of boasting, but proves it by His works. Louder, says St Bernard, is the sound of works, than of words. It is your duty to prove that you are a good Christian and a follower of Christ in your own state of life, whatever it may be, not by words but by actions. Avowals are easily made, but they are of no avail unless they are supported by corresponding deeds. Let her works, says the wise man of the virtuous woman, praise her. Furthermore, since Christ has been so liberal in bestowing corporal favors, such as sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf and the like, you have every reason to hope to receive spiritual benefits from Him."

-- Eternal Thoughts from Christ the Teacher Vol II by Richard Cardinal Cushing

Today's the memorial of the martyrdom of John the Baptist.

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