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Prophecy Fulfilled – Memorial of Saint John of the Cross
Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church
At that time, John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” When the men came to the Lord, they said,
“John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’” At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits; he also granted sight to many who were blind. And Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”
Opening Prayer: Dear Lord, you granted sight to many who were blind and cured many of disease, suffering, and evil spirits. I ask you to look upon me with mercy and teach me to look to you for strength and healing. Strengthen my love for you and my reliance on you. Thank you for your mercy, your grace, and your love.
- A Heartfelt Question: Unlike other people who sought to trick or entrap Jesus when they asked if he was the Messiah, John the Baptist was sincere in his question. He sought the truth and wanted to know if Jesus was indeed the “one who is to come.” We can see that Jesus recognized the purity of John’s heart and the sincerity of his question by his awe-inspiring response. Jesus never fails to bless seekers of truth.
- Prophesies: There are dozens of major prophecies in the Old Testament that predicted how the Messiah would arrive and specified the historical context. As a devout Jew, John the Baptist knew his Scripture. As Jesus’ cousin, he would have no doubt been aware that Jesus’ birth and early life had already fulfilled at least three Old Testament prophecies: that the Messiah would be from David’s lineage; that a virgin would conceive the Messiah; and that the Messiah would spend time in Egypt. John had doubtless heard from his own parents the exceptional circumstance surrounding Jesus’ early life. Because he had “learned” of these things, John’s heart was ready to hear confirmation that Jesus is the “one who is to come.” We, too, must study and pray with the word to know Our Lord and be able to see and acknowledge his presence in our lives.
- A Perfect Answer: Jesus answered John’s messengers in a powerful way that left no doubt to any faithful Jew that he was indeed the Messiah: “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” His answer pointed to the prophecy of Isaiah, and Jesus’ listeners would have recalled these words: “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:5-6). Truly, to know Scripture is to know Christ (St. Jerome).
Conversing with Christ: Dear Lord, quiet my heart as I sit before you in this time of prayer and reflection. Give me the grace to seek you with a pure heart. May I turn to you when I need healing, direction, and guidance. Through your loving mercy, cleanse me from distraction and doubt. Let me sit quietly today with you in the truth that you are the Messiah, my Lord and Savior.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will say a decade of the rosary, asking Mary to increase my faith in her Son.
For Further Reflection: Jesus Christ and Old Testament Prophecies.
Cathy Stamper lives in Maryland with her husband, Mike. They have been partners in marriage and business for thirty-one years. Together they have been blessed with five young adult children. She is a lay member of Regnum Christi.