Not to be Admired, But to Purify

First Reading: Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24
Psalm: Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 14
Gospel: Luke 1:57-66

Malachi was most likely the last prophet before the birth of Jesus
Christ and in today’s first reading, his words foreshadow the birth
of John the Baptist, which we also read about in today’s Gospel.

Many of us anticipate Christmas as a joyful time of celebration of
Jesus’ birth. We renew our thanksgiving for His willingness and
love to become truly human just like us. But as much as we renew
our image of Jesus born like a helpless child in a manger, the words
of Malachi remind us that Jesus came not to be adored or admired but
to purify us in preparation for our salvation.

John’s birth signals the call to the people of Israel to examine
their stand with God. It is an apt reminder for us to examine our
consciences in regard to our purity of heart with Jesus.

“Lord, you are gracious and forgiving towards us. May I ever seek
to bring you glory in all that I do and say.”