Gospel Meditation – Why do we believe in Christ if we’ve never seen him?

December 17, 2023 — 3rd Sunday of Advent

Why do we believe in Jesus and the Catholic Church? Why should we continue to do so? We’ve never seen him face-to-face (at least not most of us, I assume). Most of us have never had mystical visions of angels or saints. We live in the same world as our atheist and secularists friends. Why do we believe in Christ if we’ve never seen him? 

The simple, symbolic answer the Gospel presents to us this week might surprise us: we believe because of John the Baptist. Early in John’s Gospel we hear: “There was a man sent from God, his name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.” The Baptist powerfully announces Jesus. This is a historical fact, and it is also now a pattern at work in our lives.

John the Baptist stands for the entirety of the old covenant, everything entrusted to the Jewish people. And yet he prophetically opens the door to something entirely new in Jesus, to the revival and fulfillment of God’s promises. In every generation, and in every human life, God continues to do this. He has done it through people named Augustine, Francis, Catherine, Theresa, and countless others. In my life, the Baptist’s spirit has come through persons named Eric, Paul, Mary, and Ron. I challenge you to name at least three people through whom God has announced the coming of Jesus in your life. Consciously thank God for their testimony. And let’s commit ourselves to listening to the spirit of John the Baptist testify again this week so that we might more strongly believe in the light.       

— Father John Muir ©LPi

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