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Published: December 09 2012
John the Baptist has a clear message. He is a man with a mission, a mission he first heard at the visit from Mary, carrying Jesus, the Word of God, in her womb. John was moved so much in hearing his mother, Elizabeth say: “The child in my womb leapt for joy.”
John, just eight days old at his circumcision, was again to hear his father, Zechariah proclaim: “And you, little child, will be called a prophet of God Most High, you will go ahead of the Lord, to prepare the way before Him….”
Now, after many years in the wilderness, years of waiting, being alert, waiting in suspense for the One, coming to make known our salvation, John hears the Word of God. Jesus calls him to be a sign, to keep safe what God has been nurturing within John all these years. He has that desire to prepare hearts and minds for God. John knows that the time has come for God to have Jesus, Son and Word of God, to come among us and to share our humanity.
Like earlier prophets, John in the solitude of the desert wilderness, has let himself be seduced by God’s Word (cf. Jer.20:12). The Word of God has lured him into the wilderness so that God may speak to John’s heart (cf.Hos2). There John has been unhindered by externals which could hamper his listening.
There are no valleys to be filled, nor mountains or hills to be laid low, nor roads which need to be straightened.
Luke has accurately and historically placed John where God’s Word is intended to make known his salvation. Now John is alert and open. He wants everyone to be as ready so that these persons, too, will hear the Word of God in the person of Jesus. He wants everyone to be open to the knowledge of the loving kindness in the heart of our God who, has come to visit us in Jesus, like the “dawn from on high.”
In the midst of this busy Advent 2012, am I able to make time, space and be silent so that my heart and mind will be alert for God’s Word, alive and active? Am I open, so that God can lure me closer and speak to MY heart?
Word Almighty, we revere you
Word made flesh, we long to hear you.