Today, the church celebrates the “Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John The Baptist.” I have always thought of John The Baptist as a very humble man. I have spent much of my life trying to be the center of attention to get people to notice me for my own glory. John the Baptist models the person I would rather be today. He always pointed other people to Jesus and not to himself. To John, it was all about God’s glory as he said, “I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of His feet.”
John stood for the truth. He knew he was not God, not the Messiah and that his role was to bring all to repentance as the Kingdom of God was now at hand. I remember him saying, “He must increase, I must decrease.” If I had to live by a motto, I think that might be the one I would choose. It is no longer Mike that lives but Christ who lives in and through Mike.
Remember how John died? Without going too far into the story, Herod liked to listen to John and John even told him that it was wrong for him to divorce his wife and take his brother’s wife Herodias. She was even more ticked off with John as at a drunken King’s party, her daughter Salome danced for Herod and he promised Salome up to half of his kingdom. You remember that she asked, at the request of her mother, for the head of John The Baptist. So Herod had John beheaded.
But today in the Gospel of Luke 1, it is all about the birth of John which is another great story concerning his father Zechariah. Hopefully, you can read it (Luke 1:57-80) What really stands out for me from the story is that God can do anything! An Angel of the Lord told Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth would have a son and he would be called John, even though she was barren and extremely old. He questioned the Angel in a doubtful way that God could actually do this. God silenced him until John was born.
When the Lord speaks to us through His chosen vehicles, Angels, husbands, wives, neighbors, friends, enemies, co-workers, nature, etc., we should open our hearts, minds & ears to listen, pray, discern and trust the Lord. His will be done, not mine.
Saint John The Baptist, pray for us! Amen.