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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

John and Andrew

Today, I was meditating on the two disciples who followed John the Baptist and, then, when John pointed out Christ as the Messiah, moved from the prophet to the King.

Andrew is mentioned in Scripture as being a follower of John, and John writes intimately on things which most likely came from the words of John the Baptist.

In the Tradition of the Catholic Church, Andrew and John are accepted as the two apostles who originally followed and, were then mostly likely, baptized by John.

John's baptism was one of repentance, and as the ancient Father, Hippolytus states, repentance opens the gate of heaven for grace.

Therefore, these two men, the first martyr for the Faith, and the last Apostle to live on this earth, came to God through repentance, like the rest of us.

John the Baptist represents for us metanoia, and the humility of conversion. John points out that Christ will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. The Precursor opens the gates for the Trinity to come into the lives of men and women who are open to humility and repentance.

Mary is the model of humility, but John comes in second on the humility scale. He was so aware of sin, he who was born without sin, that he noted that he was not worthy to tie the laces of Christ's sandals.

John the Baptist influenced two of the great Apostles. If we follow their example, of humility and repentance, we shall be led to the Bridegroom, as Hippolytus notes.

I think we can safely call John the Baptist the Groomsman of Christ, the Bridegroom, leading others to the great Wedding Banquet which is not only in heaven, but begins with the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth, in our hearts, in our minds, in our souls.

Happy Feast Day to the Knights of the Order of Malta.

Added to this meditation of mine today, is that the Church must declare Mary the Mediatrix of all grace as John was freed from Original Sin in the womb and born in the perfection of grace through the presence of Mary.

BTW, here is Origen on one aspect of St. John the Baptist and his relationship to Christ.

It may be said that John's earlier testimony to Christ is to be found in the words, He who comes after me exists before me, for He was before me, and that the words, For of His fullness we all received, and grace for grace, are in the mouth of John the disciple. Now, we must show this exposition to be a forced one, and one which does violence to the context; it is rather a strong proceeding to suppose the speech of the Baptist to be so suddenly and, as it were, inopportunely interrupted by that of the disciple, and it is quite apparent to any one who can judge, in whatever small degree, of a context, that the speech goes on continuously after the words, This is He of whom I spoke, He that comes after me exists before me, for He was before me. The Baptist brings a proof that Jesus existed before him because He was before him, since He is the first-born of all creation; he says, For of His fullness all we received. That is thereason why he says, He exists before me, for He was before me. That is how I know that He is first and in higher honour with the Father, since of His fullness both I and the prophets before me received the more divine prophetic grace instead of the grace we received at His hands before in respect of our election. That is why I say, He exists before me, for He was before me, because we know what we have received from His fullness; namely, that the law was given through Moses, not by Moses, while grace and truth not only were given but came into existence through Jesus Christ. For His God and Father both gave the law through Moses, and made grace andtruth through Jesus Christ, that grace and truth which came to man. If we give a reasonable interpretation to the words, Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ, we shall not be alarmed at the possible discrepancy with them of that other saying, I am the way and the truth and the life. If it is Jesus who says, I am the truth,then how does the truth come through Jesus Christ, since no one comes into existence through himself? We must recognize that this very truth, the essential truth, which is prototypal, so to speak, of that truth which exists in souls endowed with reason, that truth from which, as it were, images are impressed on those who care for truth, was not made through Jesus Christ, nor indeed through any one, but by God—just as the Word was not made through any one which was in the beginning with the Father;— and as wisdom which God created the beginning of His ways was not made through any one, so the truth also was not made through any one. That truth, however, which is with men came through Jesus Christ, as the truth in Paul and the Apostles came through Jesus Christ. And it is no wonder, since truth is one, that many truths should flow from that one.