Advent is truly a great time of the year for us to reflect upon the type of people we have in our life. It is absolutely true that we can only have two types of people in our life; that is, those who promote our spiritual well-being, and those who do not. There saint-john-the-baptist-and-the-phariseesare there are those who God are positively using to help us get to Heaven, and those who Satan are using to distract us from The Way. There are those who are interested in us becoming saints, and there are those who are not interested in us becoming saints.

None of the people who we have in our life are identical; they all offer us something different. In their own unique way they are all either adding value to our life, or devaluing our life. Now, when I use the terms value and devalue, I’m not talking about whether they are givers or takers, for God sometimes gives us people who only take, so that we might become better givers, and He gives us people who only give so that we might better understand how to receive gift. On the contrary, what I’m referring to is the degree to which people we have in our life understand who we are In Christ. I believe that those who do know and appreciate who we are In Christ will always try to make an effort do add value to our relationship with Him, while those who do not know or appreciate who we are In Christ will intentionally or unintentionally act in a way that devalues our relationship with Him.

Today’s Gospel Reading at Mass from Luke 3:10-18, during this third Sunday of Advent’s C Cycle, is one of my favorite passages of Scripture. Anyone who has read my books or this blog for awhile knows that I have a great love for John the Baptist, who I prefer to call John the Waymaker. His call to point people to Jesus, and to prepare the way for people’s heart to receive Him is the same ministry that God has called me to, which is why I deeply enjoy whenever someone calls me judgmental – I’m sure John got that a lot as well.

It is a spiritual truth that we all need someone in our life who will always tell us the uncompromising truth, whether we ask for it or not. We always need at least one person who we are close to that is always interested in pointing us to Jesus. We don’t need a life coach, we need a Christ coach – someone who lives a life in the Holy Spirit and is always ready to offer good counsel, judgement, and edification. Someone who knows who they are In Christ and sees who we are In Christ. Someone who we can always go to to get a Christ-centered to the tough question, such as in today’s reading:

      The crowds asked John the Baptist,
      “What should we do?”
      He said to them in reply,
      “Whoever has two cloaks
      should share with the person who has none.
      And whoever has food should do likewise.”
      Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him,
      “Teacher, what should we do?”
      He answered them,
      “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”
      Soldiers also asked him,
      “And what is it that we should do?”
      He told them,
      “Do not practice extortion,
      do not falsely accuse anyone,
      and be satisfied with your wages.”

You’ll know you have a John the Waymaker type of figure in your life when you have someone who interested in making your way to Heaven as smooth as possible. There are those who add clutter to our lives, and there are those who are there to help us remove the clutter, so that we can see God better. For those of us who had parents who filled that role, we seem to go a few years in our life after they have passed without a person to go to for good advice. If you are in that place right now, I encourage to develop a relationship with someone who loves the Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth. They could be a trained spiritual director, a family member, or a best friend. I also encourage you to discern those people in your life who seek you out for counsel, and, for their sake, I ask you to ground your prayer life in the Holy Spirit, so that you’ll never be afraid, embarrassed, or negligent in telling them the truth.
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PRAYER FOR ADVENT
Jesus, I await your coming.
Your coming into my heart,
into my life,
into my family
into my job,
into my finances,
into my awaking, my resting, and my sleeping.
Into all of my comings and my goings.
Come Jesus, Come Jesus, Come Jesus.
All that I have is yours.
Remove from my life what grieves you, heal in my life what pains you, and bless in my life what glorifies your Holy Name.
Come Jesus.
Amen.

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Scripture texts in this blog are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
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