SAINT AGNES CATHEDRAL 533 South Jefferson Springfield, MO 65806
EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS (LATIN)
CELEBRANT Rev. Jeffery A. Fasching
December 16th, 2012; Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday)
Epistle: Phil. 4:4-7; Gospel: Jn. 1:19-28
Mass schedule December 17th through December 21st
Monday: Greater Feria of Advent--No Latin Mass
Tuesday: Greater Feria of Advent
Wednesday: Ember Wednesday of Advent
Thursday: Greater Feria of Advent
Friday: Saint Thomas * Apostle
The most powerful temptations we can possibly experience are those to ambition, pride and arrogance. Ambition is the worst of them because it caused Lucifer to be cast out of heaven into hell. Some theologians say it was because of a spiritual self-complacency combined with an awareness of their angelic nature’s grandeur and excellence, which caused such self-pride that he and the fallen angels arrogantly desired to be equal to God.
Contrast this attitude with that of Saint John the Baptist in today’s Gospel. Saint John played a significant role in the mystery of the Visitation. His humility thus appears to be the most excellent and the most perfect that has ever been, after only Our Lord Himself and the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was sanctified in the womb of his mother, Saint Anne, when Mary paid her a visit while pregnant with Our Savior. He went on to perform an outstanding, single-minded, public ministry in pointing the way to Christ. Saint John was so effective and well-liked that his followers were ready to name him the Messiah. Saint John was tempted with one of the most violent temptations imaginable to pride and ambition. It was even presented by his own friends, sent to him from Jerusalem by the hypocritical doctors of the Law. They wanted to find out if John was actually the Christ. If so, they wanted to give John his due honor.
The religious leaders were waiting for the Messiah. They knew that all the prophecies had been fulfilled. Jesus Christ came performing miracles and teaching His doctrine. However, instead of acknowledging Him, the religious leaders go looking for someone else. When asked, Saint John said I am not the Christ. He could have easily accepted the praise that his followers wished to bestow upon him, but he did not. John was so humble and truthful that he refused even to accept credit that he actually deserved!
We can learn humility from Saint John the Baptist. We can learn humility from the Blessed Virgin Mary. We should acknowledge the teaching of Christ who said “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.”
Fr. Jeff Fasching