We enter this weekend some weeks of Ordinary Time before the season of Lent. The Gospel presents us with the calling of the first two disciples of Jesus: Through these words of the Baptist, these two disciples are moved by grace to approach the Lord. John’s testimony is an example of the special graces God distributes to attract people to himself. Sometimes he addresses a person directly by stirring his soul and inviting him to follow him; at other times, as in the present case, he chooses to use someone close to us who knows us, to bring us to meet Christ.
With the celebration of the Epiphany this weekend - and the Baptism of the Lord on Monday - the Church brings to a conclusion the mysteries of our Lord’s birth and early days of His earthly life. The manifestation of the Christ Child to the Wise Men begins a process which continues until our present times: we, the Church of Christ, are called to make Him known and loved. Evangelisation - the spreading of the Gospel and Faith of the Catholic Church - is not merely a matter of being nice to others; we must use every opportunity to give them the pure doctrine of Christ. What attracts others to the Church is Jesus Christ. We need only show Him to others and He does the rest. The best way the Church has to do this is in the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. In the Eucharist, when we and others come before the Lord sacramentally present, he draws us to Himself. There is no better or effective means. If we don't do this we are failing in our responsibility. When we do bring others to Jesus in the Mass and in Eucharistic adoration, we act like Mary before the Magi: and going into the house they saw the Child and His Mother and worshipped Him. May this New Year be a time when we really work to let Christ shine through us.
This year, Advent is just three weeks long and so we begin this weekend the last days before the festival. There is always a sense of excitement, especially in families, as we prepare for the Birth of our Saviour. Advent is meant to provide us with that space and time in which we can make room in our lives for the Christ Child. As I said in my Homily last Sunday: if we arrive at 25th December tired of Christmas, then we have not done Advent properly!