Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, P.D., (14th December, 2017) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Thursday of the Second Week of Advent (II))
Is 41:13-20;
Ps 144:1.9-13. (R. v. 8);
Matt 11:11-15.

Saint John of the Cross was born in Spain in 1542. He became a Carmelite and was ordained a priest in 1567. Saint Theresa of Avila encouraged him to undertake the reform of his Order. He was strenuously opposed and suffered many trials and setbacks. He led a life of prayer which bore fruit in a number of writings that are classics of the mystical life which include The Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Dark Night of the Soul, The Spiritual Canticle, and The Living Flame of Love. His outstanding homilies, austerity of life, poetic genius and charity remain a living example.[1]
Topic: Be careful.
The prophet Malachi reads: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes” (Mal 4:5). And based on this prophesy, although the Israelites were waiting for the Messiah, they were expecting to receive Elijah first, cf. Mk 9:11. However, Jesus tells us in today’s gospel that the Elijah they were waiting for had come and gone but unnoticed, cf. Matt 11:14.
As we expect God to do one thing or the other either for us or for others, it is very important that we open our eyes to be able to see God at work. Otherwise, that might go unnoticed just like the Elijah who came but the Jews did not recognise him. Again, many have missed opportunities because they never came as they expected them. Hence I say to you: ‘Be careful’ lest you miss again and probably the last one.
Again, we can sanitize both the civil and religious communities we belong to after the good example of Saint John of the Cross. But we must be careful lest we change them for worse.
Bible Reading: Mal 4:1-5.
Thought for today: God is at work.
Let us pray: God, give us the grace to see your hand at work in us and around us – Amen.
Saint John of the Cross – Pray for us.
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[1] The Weekday Missal: A new edition (1995). HarperCollins Religious: London. p.1831.

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