On Day 18 of our “Christmas Goodies”, we shall reflect on “John the Baptist”
WHAT IT IS?
John the Baptist is the forerunner of the Messiah.
The Gospel Narratives, after the Christmas Event, focuses on the life and teachings of John the Baptist, to create an ideal launching pad for the ministry of Jesus, the Lord.
WHAT ELEMENTS CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS CHRISTMAS GOODIE -” JOHN THE BAPTIST?”
- The name “John” points to the Graciousness of God
The name John means “God is Gracious”.
True to his name, he lived a life, by which the Grace of God was clearly reflected and manifested in all his works and preaching.
He is a reminder that the Grace of God accompanies all through one’s life (Ps 139) and we need to co-operate with His Grace, and be His mighty witness in the world
- He dared to be the “Voice of the One, Who was to be the sign of contradiction”
John was “the Voice”, preparing the way for Jesus, Who would become “salvation to those who believe, but a scandal to those who reject Him”
“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his path” (Mk. 1:3; Mt. 3:3) was his message to the people.
John the Baptist displayed immense courage, strength and power to remain firm in his convictions, even in the midst of the negative response of the religious leaders of his times ( Mt 11:18) and the terrorising acts of King Herod ( Mt 14:3)
- He remained faithful to the Grace, he received from his initial days of his life
The Gospel testifies that “John leapt for joy” (Lk 1:44) when he first encountered the Saviour, in the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth.
The gift of the Holy Spirit, which was reflected in this joy, was given total submission and honour by John, all through his life.
Each of us, by our Baptism, have received the Grace of the Holy Spirit. We are challenged to live and nurture a “life in the Spirit” daily, inspired by John the Baptist
- John the Baptist shows that radicality is a “deep water” into which every Christian must dare to step.
John the Baptist lived a very radical and uncompromising life.
This was seen in his style of living – the food he ate, the clothes he wore, in his preaching and in his entire conduct.
Though, such literal following is sometimes too difficult, we are all challenged to nevertheless, have “radicality in our Christian life” – being uncompromising with respect to sin, being totally faithful to Christ and His Kingdom, being ready to live a life of detachment in the way of life that we are called to etc..
- John’s life was a pointer to the Messiah and was a life of “total conviction”
One of the finest qualities in John the Baptist was to be “an ambassador of Christ” always!
Even when people misunderstood and considered him to be the Messiah, John points to Jesus and says, “there is the Lamb of God” (Jn 1: 19-29)
He had a chance to be famous; he had opportunities to gain name for himself. But John foregoes all that, and remains focussed and committed to the vocation and the task that he was entrusted with.
He did not get swayed by popular opinion or cheap popularity.
- John was the sign that God does fulfil all His promises
John was the New Elijah as was prophesied in the last verse of the Old Testament (“Lo, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord comes… to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and children to the fathers” – Mal 3: 23-24)
John can be called, as the bridge between the Old and the New – a prophet who had arisen after nearly 400 years of silence, in the history of Israel – preparing the way for the new heavens and the new earth!
In him, we see that God’s promised to His children are never left abandoned. He is a God who promises and keeps his promises – even when it seems all hopeless or everything around is totally silent.
WHAT RESOLUTIONS CAN I PRACTISE TODAY?
Today I will seek to live thanking God for His graces and seek to live a radical and committed Christian life
Today I will seek to do all my actions in a way to only give glory to God and thus make my life a pointer to Christ and His Kingdom
Lord, like St John the Baptist, may I live in deep conviction of Your Love and Providence and be a fearless witness for Your Kingdom, Amen!
MARANATHA – COME, LORD JESUS!
We welcome you into our hearts! God Bless!