Second Sunday of
Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk
4th December 2016
St John the Baptist Prepares Our Hearts to Reach Christ
by St John Baptist de La Salle
After having prepared himself interiorly to preach to the
Jewish people and in order to make them ready to receive
Jesus Christ, Saint John proposed to them six ways to
prepare a path and an entry into their hearts for Jesus
he required of them a true horror for sin, reproaching them
with being "a generation of vipers".
he urged them to fear the Last Judgment, assuring them that
at that moment their sins would be closely scrutinised and
strictly judged. "Flee," he urged them, "from the wrath to
come". "Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut
down and thrown into the fire."
to help them escape the rigour of that judgment, he incited
them to do penance by the words: "Bring forth worthy fruits
he did not want them to be satisfied with lamenting their
sins and doing penance for them; he wanted them to do good
works, without which their penances would be of no avail.
This he pointed out to them by these words: "Every tree that
does not bring forth good fruit will be cut down and thrown
into the fire".
he declared that it was not enough for them to claim Abraham
as their father, that they had no right to glorify
themselves on that account unless they acted as Abraham did.
"Do not say", he told them, "we have Abraham for our
he gave them to understand that they could not be saved,
whatever good deeds they might perform, unless they
practiced the good works proper and becoming to their state
of life. For this reason he pointed out to the wealthy their
obligation of giving alms; he told the publicans not to
exact anything beyond what was due, and he enjoined on the
soldiers to be content with their pay.
Take these counsels to heart, and follow them carefully.