Ricky Stuart, Raiders Head Coach: Third Week of Advent 2020
Third week of Advent: Gospel Reflection by Ricky Stuart, Head Coach for the Raiders
Isaiah 61:1-2, 10-11
Luke 1:46-50, 53-54
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
John 1:6-8, 19-28
He was not the light, only a witness to speak for the light. JN 1:8
John the Baptist was a man “sent by God”. He was a man on a mission to introduce the public ministry of Jesus. When John spoke of Jesus, he said: “I am not fit to unlace his sandals.” This was not false humility on John’s part. He was just saying that he had found something bigger than himself. A guarantee of personal misery is to live for self. Happiness and selfishness cannot be centred in the same person.
It is difficult to be objective about one’s self, but think of days in your life when you have been preoccupied with yourself, when the biggest issue in the world was you. Then think of days when you have known a wonderful sense of fulfilment. These experiences never overlap.
One problem with a self-centred life is that it is dishonest. We cannot imagine John forgetting Jesus and seeking to put himself front and centre. John’s greatness lay in his realism. That is easy to see in the experience of John. But what about ourselves? With all the grave issues we are facing in the world, I cannot count my own desires, problems and needs as most important. That may be a human tendency, but I do not have to give in to it. There are other people, other needs, other problems, other hopes and other disappointments. John was able to forget himself, move out and place something superior at the centre. This is the essence of a great life: deliverance from enslavement to self.
What Jesus did for John, he had done for people ever since. He enlarges a person’s capacity by giving him or her a purpose outside the self. Christianity is a call to what is beyond, to a life bigger than my own.
Lord, give us the grace to see the needs and problems of others as well as our own. Amen.
FR SEAN CULLEN
‘Adore’ Advent Reflections