Weekdays of Christmas Time, January 3

Scripture Readings: 1 Jn 2:29-3:6; Jn 1:29-34                         

In the 1950’s there was a television show hosted by Walter Cronkite called “You are there.”  Some of us are old enough to remember how famous events in world history were dramatized as if we were present to see them happening: like the Assassination of Julius Caesar, or the Final Hours of Joan of Arc, or the Capture of Jesse James.  At the end of the show Walter Cronkite would say, “What sort of day was it? A day like all days, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our times… all things are as they were then, and you were there.”  But of course, we weren’t really there.  

But we really are present at all the mysteries of Christ’s human life because of his divinity.  We are as present to Jesus during his agony in the garden as the three sleepy apostles.  When John the Baptist sees Jesus coming toward him and says, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” we are also there, because all the sins and sinners of the whole world are present to Jesus in his divinity at every moment of his human life. 

So, at communion during Mass when we hear the words, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,”it is not only the risen Jesus we behold, but also Jesus at any event in his human life because we are always present to him. We can stand shoulder to shoulder with the good Centurion and say, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”  With John the Baptist we can look at Jesus and say with bended knees, “You are the Son of God.”  This is a gift of Christian prayer: being present before Jesus in heaven and in all the mysteries of his human life, to adore, to give thanks, to repent and to ask for all that is good.  Throughout the liturgical year, we are invited to really be there!