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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Spiritual Life

The Regnum Christi Movement offers its members some guidelines of a gospel-based spirituality as an ideal of Christian life. The spiritual path that Regnum Christi members walk mainly consists in knowing, loving, imitating, and proclaiming Christ. This is the path and these are the goals.

Below, we offer some resources that can help nurture the spiritual life of Movement members and of any Christian.

Daily Prayer 2004-12-05
Listen to podcast version here.

Making Straight His Paths

December 5, 2004
Second Sunday of Advent
Father Jason Koch, LC

Matthew 3:1-12
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" It was of him theat the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: "A voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths." John wore clothing made of camel´s hair and a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan, as they acknoledged their sins. When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ´We have Abraham as our father.´ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mighter than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

Introductory Prayer:Lord Jesus, I come to you in prayer to prepare my soul to receive you in Holy Communion and make more room for you in my life. Help me to put order in my heart and fulfill your will in my life with love and enthusiasm.

Petition:Lord, make me open to your presence in my life.

1. A Message Coming from the Desert. John the Baptist went to the desert in order to be closer to God. The Israelites learned to depend on God while in the desert. He gave them manna and quail to nourish them in their hunger and from a rock came water to quench their thirst. In the desert, John the Baptist learned to depend on God, and through him the cry to repent and make straight the paths to God would again resound. The four hundred year silence is broken as God makes known that his kingdom is at hand. Oftentimes, there are moments in our lives that seem like a desert, but it is in these moments that God brings us closer to him. We should not be afraid of experiencing dryness or difficulties in prayer because it is then when God helps us trust more in him.

2. Prepare the Way of the Lord. God wants to be a part of our lives and we have to open wide our hearts to him. John the Baptist inspired numerous conversions because of his powerful spiritual lifestyle. As part of his desert practice, he spent countless hours in prayer with God. People listened to him because his life was clear and spiritual. John’s baptism helped wash away their old attitudes and ways of thinking. To be baptized showed their decision to let God in and purify their hearts. I must not forget that this Advent is a time to make room for Christ to enter into my heart. I need him to be a real part of my life. I have to let go of the old way of thinking and acting and put on Christ in a real and visible way. How do I prepare myself to receive Holy Communion at Mass? I need to think about who it is that I am about to receive.

3. Producing Good Fruit Is Evidence of Repentance. By baptism, we are committed to pursue holiness through an identification with Christ. We collaborate actively with him in his redemptive mission, contributing our efforts to announce and extend Christ’s Kingdom here on earth. St Luke says, speaking of the first members of the Church who were persecuted and forced to spread out, “Those who had dispersed went about everywhere announcing the Good News of the Word” (Acts 8:4). It is my task to preach and extend the Kingdom of Christ where I am. My basic apostolic task is to give witness to Christ through an integral and mature living of the values, ideals and virtues of the Gospel. How do I witness at home, to my spouse, to my children, in my work, and in my parish? Do I understand that my example is powerful? I need to feel the urgency of fulfilling the mission that Christ has given me in my particular state in life. When I receive Holy Communion, I receive the food I need to help me in my mission.

Dialogue with Christ: Lord, you chose to become like me in order to bring me closer to you. Help me continue to grow in a prayerful spirit, and unite me with you so that at the end of my life I can enjoy your presence, not just under the veil of the Eucharist, but in person. Lord, reveal yourself to me.

Resolution: I will take a few more moments after Mass to give thanks to God for the gift of the Eucharist.

The daily meditation is a service of Regnum Christi that offers people a Gospel reflection through e-mail. You can view the weekly meditation on this link or listen the podcast version here.

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