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 simply proclaiming God with us ...
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, and we, like John the Baptist are called the same way, to simply point people back to God. John, was a cousin of Jesus who had grown up in an ascetical desert lifestyle, living beyond the trappings of the world into the will of God. Certainly this youngish ‘wild-man’ was someone 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. If John the Baptist whom Jesus said later was ‘the greatest of all’ knew he wasn’t the saviour of the world, how can I so often try to rush in and ‘save the day’? ‘Are you Elijah, (aka, someone special )?’ they asked him. “I am not Elijah!” John replied, even though after John’s death, his cousin, Jesus, indicated in that Elijah had already come and pointed to John the Baptist. Will I as easily as John relinquish my desire 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.” In fulfilling his simple role in the kingdom of God in this way, John the Baptist prepared the crowds of Judea to tune into Jesus’ teachings. Who am I? By baptism, through the Holy Spirit, I am someone who can point others to God. Am I willing like John the Baptist to be above all a voice crying with humility in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord!” Within my family, our community, and the day to day proceedings of the world, will I simply point others to an encounter with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Holy Spirit of Jesus, help me be content with simply being the voice of one proclaiming God with us.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth: break forth into joyous song and sing praises. (Psalm 98: 4 )
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
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.