Memorial of St. Andre Bessette
In the first reading, we hear St. John addressing the early Church about discerning which spirits are from God and which are not. The criterion? Acknowledging Jesus Christ come in the flesh. In St. John’s day, there were those who said that God did not really take on human nature. They claimed that Jesus Christ was not a real human being, but merely the appearance of one. He was God and God alone.
Jesus’ miracles do certainly attest to his divinity. But if God has not truly become man, if our nature has not been taken on by the one who is Love, then what hope is there for us? The great mystery celebrated in the Epiphany is that the Incarnation is not a trick. Jesus is fully divine AND fully human. If he were only divine, then we would have excuses. We could say, ‘we have only commandments, we do not have any examples that it is possible to fulfill them.’ Consider the commandment to love one’s enemies, for example. But Christ comes as the one who looks upon the masses and has pity on them. Jesus in the flesh shows us God, and shows us what God can do in each of us.
Today’s saint, Andre Bessette, a Canadian brother in the congregation of the Holy Cross, is great proof of what happens when one acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh. His great trust in the love of God for us, and in the intercession of the saints, helped many to receive miraculous healings of their illnesses, and above all a most needed increase in faith, hope, and love. May the Lord, who has so manifested his love for us, lead us to proclaim his works of mercy to the world!