We are the Messengers!

December 17, 2017

After the Baptism of his baby brother in Church one Sunday, little Johnny sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car.  His father asked him three times what was wrong.  Finally, the boy replied, "That priest said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, but I want to stay with you guys!"  Father got the message and they began to go to Church regularly...  Needless to say, the family had a bit of catching up to do.  One day the Sunday School Teacher asked Johnny, "Now, Johnny, tell me – do you say prayers before eating?”  “No ma'am," little Johnny replies, "I don't have to.  My Mom is a good cook." 

The historian Josephus wrote that in his estimation, at the time, John the Baptist was a vastly more important and impressive figure than his cousin Jesus. Even years after Jesus' death and Resurrection, when the apostles visited the city of Ephesus to proclaim the Gospel, they ran across a large building that called itself "The First Church of John the Baptizer." The members of this congregation had all been baptized in the name of John. When the apostles inquired if they had been baptized in the name of Jesus, the people replied, "Who's that? Never heard of him."

Because of this, to counter the claim of John the Baptist’s disciples, the Gospel of John (John the Evangelist) makes a forceful presentation that John the Baptist is a witness and forerunner of Jesus

According to the Gospel of John, Jesus is the Light of the world.  Just as the dawn of each new day brings joy, the coming of Jesus, the Light of the world, causes us to rejoice.  We, the Church, are called to bear witness to Christ by word and deed, in good times and bad—when it suits us and when it doesn't.  Ironically, the witness of the Church has often been more faithful under persecution than under prosperity. 

Just as John the Baptist was a witness who prepared the way for Jesus, we the Church, are the messengers who point out Christ to others. 

It is so important to stay through the end of Mass for the Final Blessing and Dismissal.  This dismissal states what our mission is.  When the priest says, “Go in peace.” that is not intended to just send us “home” but to send us “out” in the world to be a witness of Jesus. After hearing God’s Word in scripture and eating with Jesus at the same table, we are sent out in the peace of Christ to glorify Him with our lives.

Kathryn Richards