15 December  
Lk 7:24-30

When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who put on fine clothing and live in luxury are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.”  I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.’ (And all the people who heard this, including the tax-collectors, acknowledged the justice of God, because they had been baptized with John’s baptism. But by refusing to be baptized by him, the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves.)

Johann Tauler (1300-1361) was a younger confrere of Meister Eckhart.  He wrote, “St John wrote of [John the Baptist] that he was a witness to the light…. What higher praise could we give to this Saint than to call him ‘a witness to the light’? This light sheds its rays into the innermost and furthest depths of our souls, teaching us stability and strength. When we have received this witness we become immovable, like a mountain of iron, instead of being swayed to and fro like a reed…. Our Lord also said, ‘He is more than a prophet,’ that is, there are depths in us which reason cannot touch, where in the light we see light  -  that is, in an inward light, the light of grace…. This comes to us first in a hidden manner, for our faculties cannot come within a thousand miles of these depths of our soul. The knowledge which instructs us in these depths has neither image nor form nor manner; it has no parts which can be separately recognised; it is an unfathomable abyss, not to be limited, not to be plumbed, ebbing and flowing like the sea. As we sink into it, it may seem empty and dry; yet in a moment it may well up and overflow as if it would engulf all things.  We sink into this abyss, and in it is God's true dwelling place, more than in heaven or in all His creatures.  Those who could find their way here would truly find God here, and would find themselves at one with God, for God never leaves this abyss. God would be present to them, and here they would apprehend and delight in eternity, for here there is neither past nor future. There is no created light which can reach these depths or illumine them; for this is nothing else than God's dwelling, God's own place.”


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This page gives a very brief commentary by Donagh O’Shea on the gospel reading for each day of the month. 


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