What are we further taught by this gospel?
We are taught to always speak the truth, like St. John; not to desire to appear more, or better, than we are; and, in particular, to make a good and sincere confession. We should, therefore, before confession often ask ourselves, "Who am I? How do I live? How do I stand before God? How do I deal with my neighbor? "
We learn also from St. John to confess our sins without reserve, neither concealing nor excusing them; above all, we learn to be humble, for although he might have passed for the Messias had he chosen to, he refused that honor, and held him self unworthy to loose the latchet of Christ's shoe.
O Lord, banish from my heart envy, self-love, and pride; give me grace so to know Thee and myself that, in contemplation of Thy majesty, omnipotence, love and wisdom, and other perfections, I may love Thee above all things, and in regarding my own nothingness, misery, and sins may always humble my self before Thee, and be little in my own eyes. Grant also that I may judge my neighbor with justness and tenderness, and love him as myself.
Fourth Sunday of Advent
THE nearer we approach to the coming of Christ the more the Church sighs in her prayers for the Saviour of mankind. She sings, therefore, at the Introit, Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just (Is. xlv. 8); "The heavens show forth the glory of God, and the firmament declareth the work of His hands" (Ps. xviii. 2).
Stir up Thy might, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and come and succor us with great power, that, by the help of Thy grace, the indulgence of Thy mercy may accelerate what our sins impede. Who livest, etc.
EPISTLE, i. Cor. iv. 1-5.
Brethren: Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God. Here now