December 16, 2011 - Friday of the Third Week of Advent

Today's Readings

Jesus does not accept the testimony of a human, not even a human he himself sent to give testimony. For who sends the prophets? They are inspired by the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, Jesus does not rely on human testimony. That would be a contradiction. The creature testifies to the greatness of the creator, indeed all creation shows forth the glory of God, but the glory of God is not limited to what is shown by creation. No one can make God greater or less than he is. He is not defined by the testimony of any creature. He transcends creation because he existed before it and it only exists by his will.

There can be no doubt about John the Baptist’s allegiance to the Jesus, but Jesus is not great because John prepared the way for him; John prepared the way because Jesus is great. Perhaps this is easy to see now, 2000 years later. I do not think that anyone today believes in Jesus Christ because John the Baptist says so, but at the time that was a very high endorsement. John the Baptist was a star in ancient Jerusalem; we could compare him to the stars of today. We might be tempted to point to a football player or a movie star who believes in Jesus. Yet what does it matter if Tim Tebow believes in Jesus? It matters for Tim but not for me. I do not think that Jesus is great because Tim says so. Perhaps someday he will change his mind. Then what? Should I stop following Jesus?

I am glad to see famous people following Jesus, but I am also glad to see normal people following Jesus. There are two billion Christians in the world, but Jesus Christ would still be Jesus Christ if every one of them abandoned him. We have seen some high profile Christians abandon the faith. It is their loss. It is a cause of sadness to lose a sister or brother, but our faith was not in them. Our faith is not in any athlete. Our faith is not in any movie star. Our faith is not in any priest. Our faith is not in any holy man or holy woman or visionary or healer or appearance. Our faith is in Jesus Christ, and he will never disappoint us.