Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
Holy Spirit of Jesus, help me be content with being a voice in the wilderness proclaiming your gift of New Life ...
John 1: 19 – 28
John the Baptist was painfully aware of the ‘same old, same old’ situation facing the world. The majority of Jewish people were living under the oppression of the Roman empire, attending synagogue rarely, gossiping about all the latest “conspiracies” , and generally turning away from the richness of their faith in God. Things are not so different in our day. So who was John, this cousin of Jesus who had been forced to flee to the desert to eke out a living with his elderly mother, Elisabeth, following his father, Zachariah’s murder shortly after his birth? He had been tutored fully by the desert mystics who studied scriptures day and night and had himself grown up in an ascetical lifestyle, praying and fasting day in and day out. Certainly this wild-man young prophet was a man to be reckoned with! The Jewish leaders sent priest and Levites from Jerusalem to feel him out. “Who are you?”, they asked, just as I, too, as a devoted follower of God, am being questioned by my social milieu. ‘I am not the Messiah!’ John told them with certainty. Will I let go of my drive to be the Messiah of my own marginalized group? ‘Are you Elijah, aka, someone special ?’ “I am not Elijah!” John replied, although his cousin, Jesus, would later proclaim John as the holiest one who had ever lived. Will I as easily relinquish my desire and my ‘right’ to be God’s gift to humanity? “Are you a prophet?” “No,” was John’s response, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’, as the prophet Isaiah said.” Am I willing, like John the Baptist, to be simply “A (an unspecified) voice (that is whole, unique, and complete) crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord!” – into my family, our community, the day to day proceedings of the world? Holy Spirit of Jesus, help me be content with being the voice of one proclaiming your gift of New Life.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth: break forth into joyous song and sing praises. (Psalm 98: 4 )
Prayer and praising, all men (and women) raising... ‘Alleluia!’ earth to the heavens replies.
J. H. Hopkins, We Three Kings, v. 3
A Blessed, Happy and Joyful New Year, the 2021st Year of Grace,
to you and your family!
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Soli ad gloriam Dei
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Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.