Memorial of St. John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Today's Mass Readings


We are just a few days from the beginning of the final approach to Christmas. Come and save your people … we will soon be singing. What does that “saving action” look like for us now /this year. It takes many forms, shapes, and sizes. But the basic truth is the same forever and always. Year after year, Jesus comes to save his people from their sins—thus his very name. Again, God’s mercy is at the heart of the Christmas mysteries through the Incarnation and birth of the savior.
Jesus comes to save us. To renew us. The Gospel today gets at that. One son says ‘Yes, I’ll go,’ but does not do it. The other says no, but then gets over himself (if you will) and does what is asked. It’s the last line of the Gospel that sums it all up for us…. the passage was a caution to the chosen people that they not reject the very one they had been looking for. He told them “Sinners and tax collectors” did believe in the preaching of John (referred to in yesterday’s Gospel). Then regrettably Jesus says, “but even with that you did not later change your minds and believe in him.”

Change your minds and believe. There’s a wonderful passage in Paul’s letter to the Romans, (Rms 12:2)”Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your minds – so that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” This refers to the renewal of our minds and the transforming of our hearts and minds—being conformed to Christ. That of course is our life’s work (the task of a lifetime) for each of us—our ultimate goal, if you will. And we look to the coming of the one who is God’s transforming love, namely, Jesus our savior. May we open the doors of our hearts to God’s love, God’s mercy, let it move us to welcome Him who comes.

Reflection by Fr. Peter Ullrich, OSB

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