Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sunday, December 9, 2007

St. John the Baptist and us...

As we continue our spiritual reflection in preparation for Christmas, it is worth meditating on St. John the Baptist. He is a good example for us. St. John’s whole life was determined by his vocation, that is, to prepare the people to receive Jesus. He carried out this task without holding back; he gave up his life for this purpose. He did not consider himself, not his desires or comforts. He did not say that he was the cousin of the God’s Son or that he was the son of Zachariah of the priestly tribe. No, he said that he was the voice of one crying in the wilderness, one who was not worthy to unfasten the sandal straps of Jesus.

John teaches us that one’s vocation encompasses one’s entire life. To be fulfilled and happy each of us has to be devoted to working in that vocation well. I must be a good technician, for instance, a good secretary, a good sales rep, etc. In doing so, each of us pleases God and helps society. Moreover, most have a primary vocation of being a good husband and father, a good wife and mother, a good neighbor. Fulfilling this vocation certainly brings happiness to those closest to us.

Like the Baptist, we should want to bring others to Jesus. By being friendly and helpful to others, we are preparing an environment that can be receptive to God. Each of us can ask ourselves certain key questions. Do I desire to bring the people around us closer to God? Do I give good example in the workplace, at home and in public places? Do I speak about God to my relatives, friends and colleagues?

We should not make ourselves the center of attention. Without humility we cannot bring other to Jesus. What is important is that Christ should be announced, known and loved. Only He has the words of eternal life.

One most worthy way of imitating the zeal of St. John the Baptist is to invite someone to Church. We should not be hesitant to ask a friend, relative or coworker to come with us to Confession and to Mass. Sometimes such an invitation is much appreciated. This is something that we can always think about doing, not just now as we approach Christmas, but always throughout the year.

Fr. Stanley