The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
Do you know the joy of the Lord? When some friends of John the Baptist complain that all the people are now going to Jesus, John in his characteristic humility exclaimed that he was not the Messiah but only the messenger sent to prepare his way. John describes the Messiah as the Bridegroom and himself as the friend of the Bridegroom. The image of the groom delighting in his bride and the joy of the wedding feast is used in the Bible as a sign or symbol of God’s covenant love and joy in being united with his people, whom he calls his bride. As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you (Isaiah 62:5).
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit John recognized that Jesus was sent from the Father in heaven the anointed Messiah, sent from the Father in heaven to reunite his people to himself. John acted as the groom’s best man in arranging the marriage and in making preparations for the marriage feast. John and his disciples now rejoice that the Bridegroom has come to make his bride, the people of God, ready for the marriage feast. The New Testament tells us that Christ’s blood which was shed upon the cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, seals us in a new covenant between God and his people. The Book of Revelation depicts the final fulfillment and consummation of this new covenant relationship at the marriage feast of the “Lamb and his Bride” in the New Jerusalem (see Revelations 21-22). Do you look with joyful anticipation to the consummation of God’s plan for his people at the end of the ages?
“Lord Jesus, may I never forget the love you have poured out for me when you shed your blood upon the Cross of Calvary for my sins and for my salvation. May your love always grow in me and your hope fill me with joy as I wait for your return in glory when all of your people will be fully united with you at your heavenly banquet feast in the New Jerusalem.”
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST
“Anyone who sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, should petition God, and thus life will be given to the sinner.” 1 John 5:16
Many have not had Christmas because they have not repented of sin in their lives. We should petition the Lord for sinners and life will be given to them. Through the Lord’s forgiveness, they will be given Christmas just before the season ends. The devil grinch thought he had robbed them of Christmas. However, by prayer, we rob the robber and give many people another opportunity for Christmas.
On this second last day of the Christmas season, go to Confession and invite others to join you. For so many, Confession is the key to Christmas. Many people are spiritually still in Advent. They need to obey John the Baptizer’s call and be baptized in repentance (Lk 3:3). We are called to be ministers of reconciliation, to encourage others to get the specks out of their eyes, after we have removed the planks from ours (Mt 7:5). The Lord has “entrusted the message of reconciliation to us. This makes us ambassadors for Christ, God as it were appealing through us. We implore you, in Christ’s name: be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:19-20).
Tomorrow, on the last day of the Christmas season, let’s help others have their first day of Christmas by going down together into the waters of the Jordan and repenting of our sins.
Prayer: Father, give us a full Christmas even if we start Christmas on the last day of the season (Mt 20:14). Promise: “He must increase, while I must decrease.” Jn 3:30 Praise: Having repented of living a wild life “on the road,” Joseph received God’s mercy and became an instrument of evangelization as his job took him from place to place. (For a related teaching, order our tape on Reconciliation on audio AV 1A-1 or video V-1A.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2014 through January 31, 2015.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements