One Minute Reflection – 14 December – Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent, Readings: Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13; Psalm 34: 2-3, 6-7, 17-18, 19 and 23; Matthew 21: 28-32 and the Memorial of St Berthold of Regensburg OFM (c 1220-1272
“John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him.” – Matthew 21:32
REFLECTION – “John the Baptist is teaching in both word and deed. A true teacher, he shows by example what he describes in speech. Knowledge makes the teacher but action bestows authority. … To teach by doing, is the only rule followed, by one who wants to give instruction, for instructing by words is knowledge but, when it passes on into deeds, then it is virtue. Therefore, that knowledge is genuine that is combined with virtue: this and this alone, is divine, rather than human. …
“In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying: ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!‘” “Repent” – Why did he not rather say: “Rejoice“? “Rejoice, rather because what is human gives way to what is divine, what is earthly to what is heavenly, what is temporal to what is eternal, what is evil to what is good, what is unsure to what is certain, sadness to happiness, what is perishable to those things that endure forever. The Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand. Repent!” Let your behaviour as one who has converted be manifest. You who preferred what is human, to what is divine, who desired to be the world’s slave, rather than to conquer the world along with the world’s Lord, Repent. You who fled the freedom which virtue would have won for you because you wished to take on the yoke of sin: Repent. Repent in earnest, you who, for fear of possessing Life, have given yourself up to death! – St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 167).
PRAYER – Lord God, You hold out the Light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts, the faith You have given us and the Credo we profess, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled in us. May the intercession of St Berthold of Regensburg who spent himself preaching repentance, grant us the grace of following the way of the Cross, to stand beneath it with our Mother, the Mother of God, Ave Maria! We make our prayer through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.