More great advice from St. John in today’s first reading from 1 John 2. More on that in a moment. Our Gospel reading for today is from the Gospel of St. John. We see the people asking John the Baptist to identify himself, “Who are you?” He admits that he is not the Christ, only one who has come to prepare the way of the Lord. I often wonder if John knew how important he was in the plan of salvation. Judging from his humility, I would guess not.
St. John uses a word again and again in just a few short sentences today. Remain. “Let what you hear from the beginning remain in you.” “…then you will remain in the Son and in the Father.” “And now, children, remain in him.” It evokes a sense of staying power; what I like to call stick-to-it-iveness. It involves many different attributes – trust, devotion, belief, courage. Unless we have these, and many others, we will not “remain in him.”
It can more often than not be the easy way out to NOT remain in Jesus. When the going gets tough, when the heat gets turned up, when we are confronted with making difficult choices, we often flee from Jesus. It is more convenient NOT to remain in Jesus. But when we need to make a decision between convenience and truth, which do you think Jesus would want us to make? To paraphrase Shakespeare, “To remain, or not to remain. That is the question.”
Father, forgive us for those times when we do not remain in Christ Jesus. Give us the grace to always choose to remain in Him, no matter the circumstances. Amen.