Lk 1:57-66, 80
A baby is born. Not an unusual event, babies are born every day. The birth of this baby is, however, different. He is born to a mother who is supposedly unable to have children, indeed beyond child-bearing age. His father, struck mute when he failed to believe God's promise, regains his voice when he writes that the boy's name will be John, just as the angel had instructed. Surely the boy born under these miraculous conditions would grow to become a great man. And so John, did, he became a great man, but not in the way we would normally view a great man. We would think a great man would live in a palace, be wealthy, have power and control over many people, yet John lived in the wilderness, wore animal skins, ate locusts and wild honey, not exactly our ideal of a great man. Yet John was a great man. He lived in this wilderness to follow the call he received from God. John's call was to preach, to let the people know that a change was coming, that the promise God had made from the beginning of time was to be fulfilled. John was called to be a voice crying in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord. John lived as he did to carry out his mission, to heed the call of God. We have that same call. No, we don't have to live in a wilderness. I assure I am not going to live in the wilderness. My idea of roughing it is a hotel room without room service. Our wilderness is not a physical location. We live in a wilderness where there is no faith, no love, no hope. How many of the people around us live without hope? How many have little or no experience of love? How many lack faith? Our call is to be the voice crying in this wilderness, to bring the light of faith and hope and love. It's not easy. How can we do this? The beat way i can think of is to simply do the right thing. Perform one good act. I will be honest with you, you or I may do one good thing, and it may not really have much of an effect. Alone we cannot change much, but we aren't alone. When the one good act I perform is added to yours, and to another and then another, when we act together, we can bring about change. We must, however, act together. As a community of faith we can, we should be the voice crying in the wilderness, bringing light into the darkness, bringing love into a loveless place. Together we can take up the call of the Baptist and prepare the way of the Lord.
The Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist
June 24, 2007