Do you really know that God is calling you specifically? That you are bound for something great? Do you really understand that God wants you to fulfill your part in witnessing to God that only is for you, the beloved creation of God? Often we fail to see that we can be called to great things, and we certainly do not always realize that it is God’s grace that gets us there. What is it that God is calling you to do? How is it that God is calling you to be great? In reading the stories of Isaiah, Saint Paul, and Saint John the Baptist, we can find ourselves inspired by the same God and the same grace that lead them to holiness.
Tag: John the Baptist
It might seem strange that the first reading today discusses remaining tranquil and to mind one’s own affairs on the day that we celebrate the beheading of Saint John the Baptist. First, tranquil is not the first word that comes to mind when thinking about him. Second, it also does not appear to be the case that Saint John the Baptist was one who could mind his own affairs, since it was his challenge to Herod that caused his ultimate death. He was able to take on Pharisees, Herodians, and others to make sure that the knew clearly that to follow Jesus required an absolute choice to live in a particular way. In describing Saint John the Baptist, it is easy to remember there is simply nothing halfway about living the life of faith.
On one level, this is coincidental since the first reading is the reading for today is the continuation of the Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians we have been reading over the past few days. But since they are together, it does raise the question about whether there is a way that Saint John the Baptist could be seen as one who is tranquil. I think there is.
To be sure, first, it must be considered that there is evidence the preaching of Saint John the Baptist had appeal to a wide number of people. Leaving the comfort of the the known to follow this odd preacher out into the desert and to be challenged to reform their lives does, on the one hand, seem to be a challenge. Yet, it happened. What is it that appealed to those who went out into the desert?
This is precisely a version of the question Jesus asks about John. What did you go out to see? Why is it the challenging message of John made such a difference in people’s lives, when it could be seen at the same time as very unsettling? Perhaps what was most appealing to the people was the authenticity that was readily apparent to those who came to hear John speak. Could they have witnessed in John’s life and message the authentic witness that does bring tranquility? Was that the case?
Readings for Today In the early Church there was a problem with distinguishing the place and relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist, especially when considering the question of baptism. John moved into a baptism that was a sign and symbol of repentance. Yet he baptized Jesus, who was in no need of repentance. There […]
It is not unusual for us to hear that a prophet is compelled to speak the word of God. Jeremiah comes to mind as one who said this. And certainly when we read about Stephen’s death, we see that he continues to speak in the face of tremendous opposition, so strong in fact it costs him his life.
Readings for Today Elijah had a rather interesting prophetic career. He had successes and failures, he felt strongly the presence of God and found him to be distant, and had a life filled with ups and downs. His life was filled with the miraculous, whether it was defeating the numerous prophets of Baal or being […]
Readings for Today Just who are you, Jesus? This is Herod’s question today. Is he interested in faith? Is he impressed with the popularity of Jesus? Does he feel threatened by Jesus? What exactly causes Herod to wish to see Jesus? A careful reading of Luke could suggest that it was little more than curiousity. […]
Readings for Today One of the real dangers that some persons of faith can experience in terms of growth in the spiritual life, is to compare those spiritual things that we do against those spiritual things done by others. Sometimes this takes the form of reassuring ourselves that were not that bad because we are […]
Readings for Today Life is so much easier to understand in reverse. When we are going through a bad time, and there is a good ending, it is much easier to see that after-the-fact. Also, when we look over our past life, we can often see more clearly how the grace of God has been […]
Readings for Today Just how well does God know us? This evening’s first reading reminds us that God’s knowledge and love of us is long and deep. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” While these words are addressed […]
Readings for Today Do you ever talk about your faith with someone else? Have you ever had faith experiences that are so powerful you need to discuss them with another to make sense of them? Some may have these types of conversations with their spouse, while others may seek out a spiritual director. But, there […]