One Minute Reflection – 16 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Thursday of the Third week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 54: 1-10; Psalm30: 2 and 4-6,11-12a and 13b; Luke 7: 24-30
“Yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he” – Luke 7:28
REFLECTION – “Of all that are born of women, none is greater than John.”
Were all the saints – righteous, upright and wise – joined together and dwelling within a single man, they would not be able to equal John the Baptist… of whom it has been said that he surpasses, by far, all other men and belongs to the class of angels (Mk 1,2 Gk; Mal 3,1 Heb.).
“But the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he”… By what He has said, concerning John’s greatness, our Lord wanted to make known God’s immense generosity to us and His generosity towards His chosen ones. However great and famous John might be, it is less than the least in the kingdom, as the Apostle Paul said: “Our knowledge is in part… but when what is perfect has come, what is in part, will pass away” (1Cor 13,9-10). Yes, John is great – he who had the presentiment to say – “Behold, the Lamb of God ”(Jn 1,29) – but this greatness is no more than a tiny foretaste, compared to the glory to be revealed to those who are found worthy. To put it another way – all great and wonderful things here below, appear in all their smallness and insignificance, compared to the blessedness above…
John was found worthy of the great gifts of this life – prophecy, priesthood (cf. Lk 1,5) and righteousness… John is greater than Moses and the prophets, yet the old Law has need of the New Covenant, since he who is greater than the prophets, said to the Lord – “I need to be baptised by you” (Mt 3,14). John is great, too because his conception was announced by an Angel, his birth was surrounded with miracles, he announced the One Who bestows life, he baptised for the remission of sins… Moses led the people as far as the Jordan and the Law led humankind to the baptism of John. Yet, if “of all that are born of women none is greater than John,” the Lord’s Forerunner, how much greater must they be, whose feet the Lord washed and into whom He breathed His Spirit? (Jn 13,4; 20,22).” – St Ephrem (c.306-373) Deacon in Syria, Father and Doctor of the Church (Commentary on the Diatessaron, 9, 7-13 ; SC 121).
PRAYER – At Your bidding Lord, we are preparing the way for Christ Your Son. May we not grow faint on our journey, as we wait for His healing presence. May His Immaculate Mother and our Mother Mary, grant us her loving protection on this dangerous road. We make our prayer through Christ, Our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.