Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, P.D., (14th December, 2020) on the Gospel and the Memorial


Num 24:2-7.15-17;

Ps 24:4-9 (R. v. 4);

Matt 21:23-27.

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 living examples.[1]

Topic: Openness to truth.

In today’s gospel, as Jesus was teaching in the temple the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him and asked: “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus gave them a condition for answering their question: “Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” After arguing among themselves they decided to pitch their tent with ignorance.

And in the gospel according to Saint John, Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in Him: “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:31-32). The reaction of the chief priests and the elders of the people shows that they were not seeking for the truth.

Are you really for the truth? When you see that the truth is against your stand, what do you do? Never oppose or try to suppress the truth even when you feel that your stand is threatened. Always follow the truth because where truth is there is life.

Bible Reading: Matt 10:16-2.

Thought for today: You are called to reform the world starting from where you are.

Let us pray: Lord, help us to be agents of true change wherever we are – 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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