Saint John the Baptist never seemed like a Saint for me. How does a married woman and mother find connection with someone like John the Baptist? I don't want to eat grasshoppers, thankyouverymuch. And as for having the courage and conviction to speak out about moral issues to the most powerful leader in the region, I'm sorely lacking. Good ol' John the Baptist isn't "my" type of saint-friend.
John the Baptist knew who he was, and Whose he was. He knew his calling: to proclaim the Truth and point to Jesus. I imagine him speaking boldly and with confidence, part of his charism which drew crowds. John wasn't deterred by threat of imprisonment or even death; he knew the Truth, and his joy was complete in the Lord.
I'm convinced he lived so boldly because he focused on the Lord and relied upon His grace. John the Baptist didn't doubt God or his relationship with God. He simply lived for God.
This knowledge is what I think Saint Paul means when he talks about "boasting in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 1:31). Rather than a puffed-up self-absorbed pride, this boasting is confidence in the Lord. It is giving credit to the Lord for dependence upon Him. It is recognizing and praising the Lord for His grace at work in my life.
It dawned on me that I, too, boast in the Lord. When people ask me how I "do it all" as a wife and mother of six children, the only response I have ever offered is, "By the grace of God, one day at a time."
His grace is the only way I can do anything.
Now I look to Saint John the Baptist as a mentor of sorts. I also want to simply live for God. I want to be so dependent upon Him that I'm bold in doing His will. I want to be confident in seeking and speaking truth. And since I want this for my children as well, Saint John the Baptist is my newest intercessor for them.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us!