Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (7: 24-30) in which Jesus tells the people about John the Baptist saying, ‘among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he’.
Fr Paul continues to read from the ‘Heart of the Disciple’* resource for our daily reflections which asks us to consider the following:
Learning to see as God sees is the task of a lifetime and can only be achieved with the grace of God. With all the best will in the world, we are often stuck with seeing through the lens of our prejudices, our ignorance and our assumptions. We judge people on external factors and find ourselves unable or unwilling to look deeper. We cannot see the heart.
The greatest in the kingdom of heaven, according to the criterion of the Old Testament, are those who live justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with their God (see Micah 6:8).
Micah’s teaching is a perfect place to start and should be something we all aspire to be. However, Jesus takes it further. Building on the foundation of all that had gone before him (including the prophets Micah and John the Baptist) Jesus came to call you and me into becoming part of himself in and through the power of the Holy Spirit. You are made great in God’s sight, not because of anything you have of your own ability achieved, but through the acceptance of this free gift – life in Jesus Christ.
We are not alone in this. Pope Francis encourages us to look to the saints, the great ones that have come before us. He points us in the direction of contemplating “the totality of their life, their entire journey of growth in holiness, (and to consider) the reflection of Jesus Christ that emerges” (GE, 22).
John, Micah and all the prophets were faithful servants whose lives were a true witness to God. Yet we are blessed with something greater than they. We have Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit to live as witnesses to him in our lives today.
For our reflection and discussion, Fr Paul invites us to consider, who is the greatest? The question arises in the context of the scripture reading for today. Does it have any relevance to how I am called to live? Why?
And together we pray:
Lord Jesus Christ,
you call me to live justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with you.
And yet you call me to so much more than that.
Being you in the world is a challenge for which I am not always prepared.
Please send me your Holy Spirit to so transform my life, that you may be born again in me.
We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Excerpt from ‘Heart of a Disciple’ produced by Evangelisation Brisbane, https://evangelisationbrisbane.org.au/adventplus/