Today’s Gospel reading got me thinking about John the Baptist and his life whose feast day is today.
I shared with my friend Liz that I didn’t feel comfortable with John the Baptist. He intimidated me with his camel-hair-wearing and locust-eating ways. He seemed loud, forceful and no nonsense. For someone who didn’t like confrontation, he wasn’t exactly endearing.
I laughed when Liz said she had thought the same thing. However, she shared that something changed in her perception. He became her “Saint of the year” (where you choose a Saint to learn about and ask for their prayers). Liz got to know Saint John through prayer and eventually she saw another side to him—a gentle, humble soul completely committed to Our Lord.
My mind was blown. First, by the way Liz was able to immerse herself into prayer and befriend the saints, as well as Jesus and Mary. She always talked and acted in a way where you knew that Jesus was more than a “concept.” He was as real to her as the person sitting next to her in a coffee shop. Liz knew Jesus intimately.
Secondly, I could see those same qualities of John the Baptist in Liz. She never shied away from speaking the truth. She was always pointing me towards God and challenging me to love Him deeper but her manner was so gentle and loving that I couldn’t help but respond positively and want to love God more.
I always thought that John the Baptist was completely out of reach and so unlike me, but I think I have it wrong. God wants me to be more like him; not in the camel hair and locusts way, (at least I hope not!) but in having a love for Our Lord so deep that it has to be shared, even in the face of death.
Like Saint John and Liz, I want the Holy Spirit so alive in me that people are inspired to love God more. Isn’t that that we are all called to do in our own lives? Jesus desires us to share the Gospel message, not with judgement but with humility and love, so that others are drawn to the mercy and love of God.
How can you share the Gospel message with someone today? Invite a friend to coffee to talk about the faith.
Bobbi Rol is a wife, mama and blogger living on the Monterey Bay in CA with her husband, teen daughter, and three rambunctious boys. When she is not dodging light sabers or stepping on Legos, she can be found outside with her family, catching a late night movie, or decorating her planner. You can find out more about her here.