Saturday after Epiphany
There’s a flashback today in the Gospel to the time before John the Baptist was imprisoned. He’s asked about why Jesus is baptizing and why the people are going to Him. John is humble in saying that the “bridegroom has the bride,” and the best man rejoices to take part in the wedding and hear the bridegroom’s voice. John’s joy “was made complete” by taking part in Jesus’ life. He didn’t lament the fact that more people went to Jesus. He showed he was grateful simply to know Jesus at all. Jesus would later go on to call John the Baptist the greatest of men born of women.
Oftentimes people tend to get stuck in a sort of nostalgia. We remember a certain time in the past and think that nothing could be better than that time. We can become attached to one good experience in life that we never move past. We lament that time seems to erode away the goodness we remember. This temptation is easy to fall into. It’s not worth entertaining though. Consider the fabulous English novel Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. In this novel, the great mansions of England are left to fall apart. It’s ironic that many of these ancient houses were preserved in England after Waugh wrote his novel. He would go on to admit he’d preached a eulogy “over an empty coffin.”* What he thought was lost actually survived. We shouldn’t lament what we think we’ve lost. We can be like John the Baptist who found complete joy in knowing Jesus his Lord.
Reflection: You’ve probably made some resolutions for 2021. Take some time to pray in gratitude for 2020 and ask for a hopeful spirit to embrace the new opportunities that will come this year.
Reflection by Br. Matthew Marie, OSB
*Bridesheads Revisited, Waugh, Evelyn. Everyman’s library. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (1993). 2.