In today’s gospel, St. John tells us the importance of witness, or as he writes: ““When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.” (John 15:26-27). The entirety of the the Gospel of John is structured around testifying, around giving witness. Continue reading
We are challenged – or we should be – when the prophet Isaiah tells us: “It is too little, the LORD says, for you to be my servant…. I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” A servant can be present, silently present, taking it all in, but never part of the conversation. Yes, we are called to be servants, but we are also called to be more. Called to moments in our lives, when the virtues already shine through, but we also called to testify. Called to testify as did John the Baptist, “Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.” And not in whispered voices, but loud and proud in the public square. We are called to testify!! Continue reading
Over the last several Sundays I have been connecting the readings beginning with Holy Family Sunday. St. Paul gave us advice on being a holy family: to put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, forgiveness, and over all these, love. (cf. Col 3:12-13). And so I encourage you to use your family to practice those virtues, to become the embodiment of those virtues. Then on Epiphany Sunday, the message was to reveal those virtues to the world through your life – to become the epiphany of Christ to others. The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord followed in which the prophet Isaiah’s word says that in our baptism we are formed as a covenant the people – a vow, a promise, a bond, a connection that binds us to the promise and the power of Christ on one side and to the world on the other.
And so with good intent and hopeful hearts we work away in our personal lives and in our families – to be the person, the family, the witnesses to heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, forgiveness, and over all these, love. We want those virtues in our lives and in our families, but have we been practicing them? Have been talking about them within the family. I suspect most of us pray about it, we work at it, we succeed, we fail, we start over… mostly silently. And think about it. If we are hesitant to speak about it within the safety of home, how likely are we to testify about it all in the company of others.? Continue reading