6/24/14

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist


The child grew and became strong in spirit. (Luke 1:80)
What do you think is the most impressive thing about John the Baptist? His uncompromising zeal for the Lord? His clear, passionate preaching? Maybe his gift of self-denial or the humility he displayed despite his fame?
How about this instead? That even as a fetus, John leaped for joy in the presence of Mary and Jesus. Imagine: here was an unborn baby, barely aware of life outside of the womb, and yet the muffled sound of Mary’s greeting when she visited Elizabeth filled him with the Holy Spirit and caused such a joy-filled reaction!
John’s leap may remind us of Isaac’s wife, Rebecca, who also felt an unusual amount of activity from the twins in her womb. Rebecca asked the Lord why this was happening, and he told her that something spiritual and prophetic was going on inside of her (Genesis 25:20-23). King David also leaped before the ark of the covenant. He loved God so much he could not contain his joy at seeing the ark of God’s presence finally brought home safely to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:14-15). The prophet Isaiah wrote that in the age to come, when the glory of the Lord is made manifest, even the lame will leap for joy (Isaiah 35:4-6).
All of these dramatic displays show us that there is a part of us that can recognize God, regardless of what we do or who we are. It’s encoded into the way he made us. This ability to recognize the Lord is not limited to unborn babies or great saints. It’s in all of us, and it’s something that the Holy Spirit wants to bring to life so that we too can recognize Jesus more deeply—and rejoice in his presence.
So let’s join John the Baptist and leap for joy. After all, Jesus is present to us just as he was to John—and even more so, since we have been baptized into his life. Let’s tell Jesus how happy we are that he has redeemed us. Let’s praise him for his mercy and his healing power. More than anything else, let’s rejoice that we belong to him, and he belongs to us!
“Lord, I am so glad you live in me. Your love is so strong that it makes me want to sing and dance in your presence. Jesus, I love you!”

1 comment:

Ed Sousa, Sr. said...

"Dear children! Today I invite you all to rejoice in the life which God gives you. Little children, rejoice in God, the Creator, because He has created you so wonderfully. Pray that your life be joyful thanksgiving which flows out of your heart like a river of joy. Little children, give thanks unceasingly for all that you possess, for each little gift which God has given you, so that a joyful blessing always comes down from God upon your life. Thank you for having responded to my call." Medjugorje Message of August 25, 1988