|by Angela (Lambert) Jendro|
June 24th, 2018 Feast of the Birth of St. John the Baptist
Gospel of Luke 1:57-66, 80 NAB
When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.
Gazing upon a newborn baby, we encounter the mystery of life as we wonder as St. John’s family did, “What then will this child be?”. Babies are full of potential, their lives completely ahead of them. Teens and adults grapple with the question again, “What will I do with my life?” Many of the joys and sorrows of parents correspond to what unfolds as the answer.
Waiting to see requires patience. Children grow year by year, one stage at a time. Their personality and character develop and blossom organically. Discovering God’s plan means patiently waiting, hoping, and praying.
God too is patient. He cares for us always, at every moment. From the creation of Adam and Eve, to the Incarnation of His Son, to the end of time – God patiently guides the unfolding of human history in the lives of each individual, each of which are His sons and daughters. Moreover, He guides Salvation history, by which He redeems and heals mankind from the original sin of the Fall and every personal sin committed by individuals thereafter.
Every day since Adam and Eve first turned away from Him by sin, God has faithfully and steadfastly lead us toward salvation. In His mercy He pours out His grace upon us. Even when we rebel, and turn away, He waits patiently for our return. Of course, God is everywhere so we can’t leave Him physically, but we can leave Him spiritually. Thus, returning to God means a turning of heart – repentance. God is far more patient than we are. We want everything immediately, at the least by two days or less with free shipping! God’s work however can take days, weeks, years, decades, and even a lifetime.
St. John the Baptist was the last of the prophets and the precursor to Christ. His birth was indeed special. His family waited years to see his role in God’s plan, but the Jewish people had waited hundreds of years for his day, and humanity thousands of years. John the Baptist proclaimed with fervor God’s faithfulness. He announced the coming of the Lamb of God Who would take away our sin. Thus, God kept His promise to save mankind by sending His only Son. We need only do our part to receive that salvation, as John the Baptist zealously repeated and Jesus exhorted – repent and believe.
- God has a plan for you and for your life. Pray for patience and openness to the Holy Spirit as it unfolds daily.
- Is there anything for which you are impatient right now? Have you complained to God, demanding your prayer to be answered in two days or less like Amazon?
- Consider God’s faithfulness in your life. Take a moment to recall His blessings today, this week, this year, and over your lifetime.
- Imagine your family asking in amazement after your birth “What, then, will this child be?”. Consider the wonderful things, with God’s help, that you have done with your life so far. Consider what you might do with the Lord in your life today and into the future also. How might you become more loving and Christ-like toward others and make an impact in their lives?
Make a Resolution (Practical Application):
- Intentionally offer each day to the Lord in prayer. At the close of the day, reflect back on the good you were able to do with God’s grace, and for the moments you failed pray that you might be more receptive to His guidance tomorrow.
~ Written by Angela Jendro © 2018
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