Gospel LK 3:1-6
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
+Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, Come by the means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Thy well beloved spouse. Amen
“The Word of God came to John.” What does this mean? In all four Gospels, only Luke mentions this 'encounter, of the Word of God with John the Baptist before his very active public life. Why is this so important? I love to ponder this ‘coming’ of the Word. What was it like? I feel there was immense Love and a ‘might of light; a fire was ignited in a very new way in his heart. This coming of the Word must have penetrated and possessed his very being, He must have known both himself and his mission differently from that moment forward. The Word came to visit the Voice! This is the not the first time of this ‘coming’, as the Word visited the Voice once before in the womb of Mary when she came to visit her cousin Elizabeth. When John was in the womb of Elizabeth, the Gospel account relates that the babe in her womb lept for joy. One wonders his reaction this time. Did his heart leap at the coming of the Word? John did not have to ‘go out’ to encounter the word, the Word came to Him. He did however have to make a way for His coming, he had to remove the obstacles and open his arms so to speak. What did this receptivity look like in John? I love to remain here in wonder. I think he must have been a very focused man, yet could look utterly non focused by his inattentiveness to other things. He lived on the ‘edge’ the edge of love, where one longs to pick up and perceive the least little words spoken, the least inkling of what the beloved desires. I love the RSV’s translation of this one sentence, one word is added which for me, completes a fuller meaning of that encounter. “The Word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness and John went….” So, in other words, in receiving the Word, into his very being, this, had an ‘effect’ and that effect was he moved, he went out from where he was.
Allow your heart to rest in the peace of God’s presence. Listen to Him, what is he saying to you? Listen carefully, God is always coming to us, in the depth of our hearts with His Word of Life. How do we receive Him? What do we do, when He speaks His Word to us? The enemy will come also with his static and interference, that is why it is important to listen for God’s Word, because God will speak, we must discern Him coming. You will know his voice by the peace that accompanies what is spoken in your heart and you will know it by the expanse of your heart, His Word leaves you ‘fuller’ loved and a greater desire to go out from yourself, and serve, give, love, forgive and much more. There is a beautiful quote in the Divine Office this week from St. Bernard: “Where is God’s Word to be kept? In the heart. Keep God’s Word in this way, let it enter into your very being, let it take possession of your desires and your whole way of life…if you keep the Word of God in this way, it will keep you, the Son with the Father will come to you.”
Prayer: Word of the Father, come into my heart, remain in me for I love you Jesus. Amen