Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Health Vailankanni The Place of Our Lady's Apparitions

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Thought of the day
Monday, December 12, 2016

Our Lady of Guadalupe - Feast

“ Jesus came to John to be baptized by him... John said to him: ' It is I who need to be baptized by you!'” (Mt 3,13-14)

Our Lady of Guadalupe - Feast

Commentary of the day
Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church Sermon 288

“ Jesus came to John to be baptized by him... John said to him: ' It is I who need to be baptized by you!'” (Mt 3,13-14)

“Many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it” (Mt 13,17). Indeed, those holy ones, filled with the Spirit of God that they might foretell Christ's coming, ardently longed to rejoice in his presence on earth if that were possible. That was the reason why God held back from taking Simeon from this world: he wanted him to behold the one by whom the world was made under the form of a newborn infant (Lk 2,25f.)... Simeon did see him then, but beneath appearance of a child. John, on the other hand, saw him when he was already teaching and selecting his disciples. Where? Beside the river Jordan...

Here is where we see a symbol and foreshadowing of baptism in Jesus Christ: in the baptism of preparation that opened up the way for him according to these words of John: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths” (Mt 3,3). The Lord himself desired to be baptised by his servant to teach those who receive baptism in their Lord what grace it is they are receiving. Thus it was here that he began his rule, as though to fulfil this prophecy: “He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Ps 72[71],8). Beside the river where this lordship of Christ began, John saw the Savior. He saw him, recognised him, and bore witness to him. John humbled himself before the divine greatness that his humility might be worthy of being raised up by that same greatness. He declared himself to be the friend of the Bridegroom (Jn 3,29). What sort of friend? Is this a friend who walks shoulder to shoulder with his companion? How far from his thought! At what sort of distance did he view himself? “I am not worthy,” he said, “to loosen the strap of his sandals” (Mk 1,7).

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