WEEK TWO OF ADVENT – THURSDAY – DECEMBER 9, 2021 – THE GREATNESS OF JOHN (MT 11:11-15)

Prayer:

O Jesus, prepare me for the greatness of your Kingdom.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus talking to his disciples about John.

Context:

John is the greatest of the Old Testament prophets. Yet, because he did not live to see Jesus’ Kingdom, the least in Jesus’ Kingdom is greater than John. An extraordinary proclamation! Just as extraordinary is Jesus saying that he fulfills the prophecies about Elijah.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “I solemnly assure you, history has not known a man born of woman greater than John the Baptist. Yet the least born into the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it away. All of the prophets as well as the law spoke prophetically until John. If you are prepared to accept this, he is the Elijah who was certain to come. Heed carefully what you hear.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Jesus benefitted greatly from the preaching of John who stirred the crowds to religious fervor.
  2. Jesus sees all of Israel’s history and declares that John is the greatest “born of woman.”
  3. Jesus also sees the future Kingdom. Surprisingly, even the least in that new Kingdom will surpass John.
  4. The Kingdom is yours. Don’t let the world use violence to steal it from you.
  5. God’s prophecies are fulfilled.
  6. Since John is the new Elijah, the forerunner, Jesus is the Messiah of Israel.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Thank you, Lord, that I was born after you established your kingdom.
  • O Jesus, how many prepared the way for me to know you.
  • O Jesus, what is my place in history? Show me my role in your Kingdom.
  • Do not let the world steal the Kingdom from my heart.
  • Make me the least in your Kingdom. This is my greatest desire.
  • All the prophecies are fulfilled. You are the true Messiah.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will thank God today for all who have prepared me for my Catholic faith.

+ I will cherish being a member of the kingdom of heaven.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

The least born into the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he.