1Jn 3:7-10; 98:1,7-9; Jn 1:35-42
The justice that Christ brings into our world is new, totally new. The ends of the earth had only seen, again and again, the injustice of tyrants. The injustice of rulers, who cared more for their own power and influence in the world than for the people given them to rule, this was the old vision of anyone who came to rule the earth. The Lord Jesus comes to bring into our hearts the Kingdom of God, so that transformed by his victory over sin and death in our lives, we too can announce and make present the Kingdom. Such was the mission and ministry of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton who loved and served her husband, children, and sisters. This woman in a short lifetime is an inspiration to all who live a busy lifestyle in a secular world. Indeed, even now the rivers clap their hands and the mountains shout because the LORD comes, he comes to rule with justice and equity. He has come, and we have celebrated his first coming in Bethlehem. He is still coming, and we actively participate in that second coming. Saint Paul preaches that we hasten the return of the Lord Jesus by out lives of prayer and sacrifice. Such is the dignity and the burden of our identity like Saint Elizabeth and her Sisters of Charity. In his first letter Saint John provides the church with a simple test to identify those who belong to the Christ: they act in righteousness. In his Gospel Saint John presents the Baptist clearly identifying the Lord Jesus as the Lamb of God. In response to this revelation, many would come and see the Son of God.
The righteousness we live in Christ is not our own; it belongs to Christ. Let us not be deceived. We do not save ourselves. We are not righteous because of our own efforts; rather we share in the righteousness of Christ Our Lord. Those who make no effort to cooperate with the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus and those who reject that grace and mercy, live in sin. Such as these belong to the Devil, because from the beginning the Devil has sinned, disobeyed, proclaimed to God, “non servorum,” I will not serve. The Son of God revealed in the mystery of Christmas came to destroy the works of the Devil. Anyone begotten by God from his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, does not sin because God’s seed remains in him. So it is clear for Saint John and for all who read his letter, “no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who does not love his brother.” Growth in holiness is possible only because of the grace of our union with, through, and in Christ. The good news is that we can rely on his desire to save us; it is greater than any of our desires. Also, his strength to save us is greater than any will power or resolution we can muster. We rejoice with all the saints in glory for we share with them the seed of God and we remain in Him.
We too have heard mass after mass, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” We too need to follow this Lamb where he may lead us. Indeed, he is our Rabbi, our teacher, and we want to find out where he stays, where he remains, where he abides. The Rabbi-Lamb invites us to come and see. Once we have seen, we want to stay, remain, abide with him and with his Father and in the Holy Spirit. For this is his eternal home and this is where we want to be. After a prolonged visit, after Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, we will have good news for our brothers and sisters. Indeed, we will have good news for anyone we meet. Because we have found the Messiah, the Christ, and he has called us by a new name. Christ gives us a whole new identity. We become that mystery in which we live and move and have our being. We become patient waiting, jubilant new birth, bright manifestation, and the Holy Spirit descends upon us for the glory of the Father and in the Name of Jesus the Lord.