Saint John the Baptist and His Locust-Eating Ways

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.

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. Click To Tweet

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.


  • Reply
    Kristen Marsh
    August 29, 2018 at 10:38 am

    I learned something interesting recently while trying to identify a tree in my front yard. It’s a big stunning twisted tree. It is a locust tree which drops large pods that are rich in iron that can be used to make carob (according to the internet). The internet also explained that the tree pods may have been the locusts referred to as John the baptists food. True? Who knows, the tree *looks* like something out of the Bible lol. Thanks for this great morning reflection!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    When I was a child mum would buy me a dried carob from the deli as a treat, it was like the consistency of a date but long like a giant pea pod, I do believe this carob ( also known as Locust Bean and St Johns Bread) is what John The Baptist was eating. I have not seen a dried carob in any deli for many many years, I miss the rich sugery taste…

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