Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Some men are born great. Some achieve greatness.

Jesus said to the crowds:
“Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist." 
(Matthew 11: 11).

John the Baptist like the Blessed Virgin Mary was chosen from the womb and sanctified for his lofty ministry.  Son of the priest Zechariah and Elizabeth, John had a comfortable career lined up for him by inheritance.  He did not allow this to distract him from his predestined vocation:  "Prepare the way of the Lord."  Speaking of "distraction", why did John chose the lifestyle he embraced? He lived in the desert, cultivated his food, made his clothes, etc.  St John the Baptist saw his mission as unique and critical to the success of the Mission of the Redeemer.  For him, no compromise, no distraction would be tolerated.

As we head to the last two weeks of Advent, let us savor the consolation of the Scriptures from the first Reading today.

"I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” Fear not, O worm Jacob, O maggot Israel; I will help you, says the LORD; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel."  (Isaiah 41: 13 - 14).

Our gracious and merciful God kept this promise to John the Baptizer to the very end of his life.

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