You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
Canticle of Zechariah
By Sharon Wilson
Today is the feast of St. John the Baptist. We are reminded of him every time we say morning prayer and pray the Canticle of Zechariah.
“You, my child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.”
It seems sad that John, who is called for such great things has a life that is cut so short. He is known for eating honey and locusts. We are first introduced to John when we hear the story of Mary and Elizabeth and this prophet is so key in the coming of Jesus he is destined even in the stars!
One fascinating fact about John the Baptist is his feast of his birthday.
In the Churchs’ wisdom, the feast of the birth of St. John the Baptist falls near the summer solstice, that is when the tilt of the earth marks the longest day of the year. In contrast, the birth of Christ falls near the winter solstice – marking the shortest day of the year.
After the summer solstice the days get shorter. The long sunny days start going away, that is until the winter solstice. After the shortest or darkest day of the year, finally our days start get longer again.
He must increase; I must decrease. John 3:30
It seems the heavens even knew of the place John had in the coming of Christ.
I have been hanging out in church circles for some time now and learning about the faith. Others occasionally come to me and ask me questions about the church or their faith journey. I love interacting with people and it is a privilege to chat about our faith and I feel especially privileged when people share with me about their own spirituality or prayer life. I often say people are more likely to share about their sex life than their prayer life. It is or can be such an intimate thing.
Being asked my opinion or being sought after can boost my ego and I need to always remember – “It is not about me.” Humility and remembering that my job in these situations is always to point to Jesus. Like John the Baptist, I need to decrease so that He may increase.
I do have one caveat in this lesson of humility though. Humility does not mean that we think less of ourselves. John the Baptist was sure of himself and in who he was and what his mission was. To prepare the way of the Lord. No easy task. Humility is not that you think less of yourself – It means to think of yourself less.
To me – John the Baptist is a great example of humility and of doing Gods work. I will strive to point the way to Christ. (I just hope my head never is served on a silver platter though!)
How are you called to prepare the way of the Lord? What are your gifts to bring? How do you view humility? Do you think less of yourself or of yourself – less?
About the author:
Sharon Wilson – Wife, Mother, Writer, Catholic Speaker, and a WINE Specialist. Sharon has a degree in education and has worked as a freelance writer, Respect Life Coordinator, a teacher, in advertising, radio, buyer and in youth advocacy – She even rode an elephant in the circus once! Sharon speaks, writes and shares about God’s healing and about the great gift of being Catholic at SharonAgnesWilson.com