Sunday, June 24 – Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist – Gospel reading Luke 1:5-17
Wild. Wise. Enthusiastic. Unwavering. Different. Inspiring. Full of purpose. Full of life.
These are the qualities that come to mind when I think about John the Baptist. A man on a mission. A man who was passionate and serious about that mission.
John the Baptist is an example of someone who lived a life of purpose, bravely dedicated to what he believed in, reaching out to others in the hopes of changing their lives for the better, and opening his heart and the hearts of others to be ready to accept the coming Savior. He listened to the Lord’s plans for him, and he acted on them with fiery urgency. His wisdom and enthusiasm gave him authority, but his understanding of God’s great mercy kept him humble.
John the Baptist’s experience was exceptional, for sure. And it can be tempting to sit back and see John’s story as something remarkable and impossible to emulate. But the amazing thing is, the secret that fueled John is available to all of us. The same Holy Spirit that filled John with passion is the same Holy Spirit that dwells in each of us today. Perhaps the only difference is that John let that Holy Spirit get wild and unruly.
I can’t help but wonder what the world would look like if we all let the Holy Spirit within us go wild… Because when someone is as focused on their mission as John was, people can’t help but notice. When someone is as passionate about that mission as John was, people can’t help but listen. And when that someone is as filled with the Holy Spirit as John was, that person can change the world.
Today I pray that we open our hearts and our lives to a whole new level. That we allow the Holy Spirit to go to work with reckless abandon… to go wild so that we can be lights that lead, souls that heal, and lives that make a difference.