As I sat to write this reflection at the night hour and wondered what message I was to share with you, I realized that June 24 is the feast of St. John the Baptist. I’ve been reading and searching for something to share with you and all the time the answer has been right in front of me: John the Baptist.
A funny fact about my family traditions: No matter how hot or when we got to the country (we lived in the city and Long Island was considered the country back in the 50’s), we could not go swimming till the feast of John the Baptist. Mom never told us why, but we could never break the rule.
When I think of it now, I realize what a powerful person and example John was. He was not only Jesus’ cousin, but a man who stayed faithful to his mission despite all the challenges he experienced. He continued to speak his truth, the Truth, even though it cost him his life. He was a forerunner and opened the way for Jesus to enter the story of salvation. He was able to fade into the background and put Jesus first. All of this must have come at a great price.
So what about us today? Are we willing to be a person who can continue on the journey of being a Christian despite the cost? Are we able to capture the good things we have learned during this pandemic time and bring them with us into what many are calling the “new normal?” Or will we reenter and return to old ways, perhaps being even more stubborn and holding on to what we think is best? Do we make room for change and consider what might be good for the whole as opposed to what is good for just us?
John had to make changes in his life when Jesus appeared. What about us? Have we learned anything during our shelter-in-place time that will help us be better Christians when we come back into a more “normal” situation? Or will things be as usual? Sad to say, I hear a lot of “I want to do it this way” or “Why do I need to do that?” and “I’m going to do it my way.” Have we learned anything? John knew that Jesus was the Messiah -- the Word made flesh was before him. His role in salvation history changed.
Are we able to make changes in our lives? I think it is very hard for some of us. But, we need to realize that in changing then staying the course, we do come to be the best person God created us to be. John knew that. Do we believe that we have a role in making this world a better place because we are in it? Will we allow Jesus to change our lives?
What are you being call to as we enter into this “new normal?” Are you ready to reimagine a better world? Are you ready to decrease so Christ may increase? John the Baptist was!
Now, I can go swimming! Enjoy this week, and may you find new ways to reimagine the way this world can be, beginning with yourself.
Till next week,