Proof of Our Really Belonging to Jesus

by | Dec 10, 2019 | Formation, Reflections

Jesus brings the Good News to the poor and makes it come true for them. Doing as our Master, we give proof that we are his followers.

Last Sunday, we heard John the Baptist rebuke those he called “brood of vipers.” He asked them to bear good fruit as proof of their repentance.

This Sunday, John is again looking for a proof. But what he wants this time is some kind of proof of identity.  For he asks Jesus, “Are you the one who is to come or should we look for another?” Are John and his followers not happy perhaps that Jesus preaches more God’s mercy than his wrath?

And Jesus does answer John. But the proof that Jesus gives of who he is highlights what he does. He thus suggests that his deeds reveal his identity better than any self-identification or self-description can.

So, Jesus is someone who eases the sufferings of poor people. He helps them in every way, taking care of their spiritual, bodily, temporal needs. That is to say, he preaches the Good News to the poor by “words and by works” (see SV.EN XII:77-79). And in doing so, he gives proof that he is the one whom God sends to save his people. That is why he opens the eyes of the blind and clears the ears of the deaf. He, moreover, makes the lame leap like a stag and the tongue of the mute sing. He also cleanses lepers and even raises the dead.

Jesus’ proof of identity, then, hinges upon his preaching of the Good News to the poor by words and by works. Preaching the Good News in such a way is also what makes up the proof of our identity as Christians. And we cannot allow those who ask us for proof of identity to stumble. So, we should go about doing good, proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom, helping the poor in every way.

Lord Jesus, eating your bread and drinking from your cup, we proclaim your death until you come. As we wait for your coming, make our hearts as firm as that of John. And as humble, trusting and patient as the heart of the least in your kingdom. May we give joyful proof, too, that we are your followers.

15 December 2019
Third Sunday of Advent (A)
Is 35, 1-6a. 10; Jas 5, 7-10; Mt 11, 2-11


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