Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church




Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 184

1st Reading – IS 41:13-20

I am the LORD, your God,
who grasp your right hand;
It is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I will help you.”
Fear not, O worm Jacob,
O maggot Israel;
I will help you, says the LORD;
your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
I will make of you a threshing sledge,
sharp, new, and double-edged,
To thresh the mountains and crush them,
to make the hills like chaff.
When you winnow them, the wind shall carry them off
and the storm shall scatter them.
But you shall rejoice in the LORD,
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain,
their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the LORD, will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
I will open up rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the broad valleys;
I will turn the desert into a marshland,
and the dry ground into springs of water.
I will plant in the desert the cedar,
acacia, myrtle, and olive;
I will set in the wasteland the cypress,
together with the plane tree and the pine,
That all may see and know,
observe and understand,
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 145:1 AND 9, 10-11, 12-13AB

R. (8) The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
I will extol you, O my God and King,
and I will bless your name forever and ever.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.
Let them make known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.

Alleluia – SEE IS 45:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let the clouds rain down the Just One,
and the earth bring forth a Savior.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 11:11-15

Jesus said to the crowds:
“Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
From the days of John the Baptist until now,
the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence,
and the violent are taking it by force.
All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John.
And if you are willing to accept it,
he is Elijah, the one who is to come.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

The Road of Charity

Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor

“Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Matthew 11:11

As we reflected upon St. John the Baptist this past Sunday, so also we are given his witness in today’s Gospel. John was great first and foremost because of his humility. But Jesus also makes it clear that John’s greatness as the greatest of the Old Testament Prophets is nothing in comparison with being a member of the Kingdom of Heaven!

Heaven must be our goal. It must be the purpose of our life. What good is it if we obtain much greatness in this world and fail to make it to Heaven?

Interestingly, Jesus does not put down St. John in this statement since “Saint” John the Baptist is in Heaven. Instead, He points to the fact that John was not only great because of his humility and all he did in this life, but he was even greater because he is now enjoying the rewards of eternal life in Heaven.

Too often we measure our lives from a worldly point of view. We look for greatness here and now and fail to recognize that eternity is what matters most.

Think about it. What will you rejoice in for all eternity? Will you rejoice in the fact that you accomplished this or that in this world? That you made lots of money? That you were praised by many in this world? No, from Heaven none of this will matter. What will matter is one thing: charity.

The charity we live here and now will radiate from our lives forever in Heaven. Even if our charity is not seen by others, it will be seen in Heaven. Charity is the result of a life lived fully surrendered to Christ.

Reflect, today, upon the ultimate goal of getting to Heaven and look at the fact that daily acts of charity are the road to this goal. Is this your focus in life? If not, look at your priorities and recommit yourself to this eternal calling.

Lord, I desire to be with You forever in Heaven. Help me to keep eternity as my ultimate focus in life. Help me to build a glorious life in Heaven through the charity I live now. Jesus, I trust in You.

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