The birth of John the Baptist reveals a pattern in his relationship to Jesus. John comes first to prepare the way for the greater glory that shines upon Christ. May John’s example inspire us to continue to blaze a trail for the proclamation of the Good News in our lives today.
John the Baptist plays a crucial role in salvation history as the one who comes “to prepare the way of the Lord.” His example inspires us to continue to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in our lives today.
John the Baptist reveals a humility and depth of knowledge as he recognizes how the ministry of Jesus must grow. “He must increase; I must decrease.” May these words apply to each one of us as we welcome Christ as King of our hearts.
A few years ago I was having lunch when I ran into Fr. Bob Koszarek, a retired priest from our diocese. When I asked him what brought him out for lunch he said, “I am celebrating the anniversary of my baptism.” The comment struck me, especially when he followed it up with, “Do you know the day of your baptism?”
The answer is no. Yet as I prepare for Mass this week I have made a commitment to find out. We claim (rightly so) that baptism is a crucial sacrament in the Church – the gateway to all other sacraments whereby we are configured to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Most people know if they have been baptized; my sense is that very few know the actual date.
Our faith is a precious gift – worth fighting for, worth dying for. Perhaps today we pause to recall just how precious it truly is…Jesus Christ poured out his blood on the Cross for us that we might have eternal life. His baptism was the revelation of the Trinity, where we hear the Father’s voice from heaven as the Spirit descends upon the Son in the form of a dove. Our baptism allows us to participate fully in God’s presence for the grace and guidance we need.
I invite us today to claim our baptism. Some simple steps:
Thank the Lord for the gift of faith to know Jesus and live as a Christian disciple
Embrace your faith through study and prayer
Serve others in the name of Jesus Christ (and with his help and strength)
Allow your life to bring Good News to the World
Our baptism is not a one time event. Rather, it is an ongoing expression of Christ working through us. May the Baptism of the Lord inspire us to live our faith with joy as we engage our lives with his power.
Zechariah’s response to the angel Gabriel reveals a common human trait to doubt good news. May we confront this behavior in our hearts as we seek recognize the Lord at work in our lives each and every day.
The Gospel reveals how John the Baptist was sent to testify to Christ, the Light of the world. Following John’s example, we are called to testify to the Light…so that others will find Christ in our words and actions.