Reflection for January 8, 2011: Saturday after Epiphany

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Tinley, Susan
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This is the last day of the Christmas Season, the nativity scenes that have not been removed already from the Churches will probably be so before tomorrow, the First Sunday of Ordinary time. It always seems a little sad to see the end of the Christmas Season in the Church calendar. Yet it is not the end, there can be a new Christmas gift for us whenever we receive Jesus in the Eucharist. Jesus will "come" to us whenever we allow ourselves to be open to his presence in our prayers and in our daily activities. We can celebrate and treasure his coming throughout the year.|In today's gospel reading, John the Baptist provides an excellent example of a loving openness to Jesus. John was so successful and highly regarded by his followers, but people began questioning when both he and Jesus were baptizing. He compared his relationship with Jesus to that of the best man who rejoices in the presence and joy of the bridegroom. John was able to celebrate Christ's coming in all that he did. He clearly sees his own role as a supportive one.|In any type of ministry it is possible for us to lose sight of its true purpose. If the ministry is successful, it is very tempting to get caught up in the success and accolades from others while forgetting that the success was because of Jesus' presence and direction. If the ministry is a failure, it is tempting to lay blame on someone else or on oneself rather than to examine whether Jesus was allowed to direct our actions. John the Baptist teaches us about a true humility when he identifies the need for him to decrease his own presence, and for Jesus to increase his. Can we do the same, always keeping Jesus in the front of all that we do? Can we be ever mindful that we are only instruments and that Jesus will direct everything that we do as long as we allow him to and get out of the way? Let us be open to and rejoice in the gift of his presence throughout our days.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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