NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD
Now and then a certain feast day in the church calendar takes precedence over the ordinary Sunday celebration. Such is the case today, on which we celebrate the Birth of John the Baptist. What are your recollections of this person who preceded the coming of Jesus into the world? I briefly look through the Scriptures to find references about John the Baptist.
These are some aspects I found which serve as a review of the one whom we’ve known as precursor of Christ; whose parents agreed that his name at birth would not follow that of his father, Zechariah; the prophet whose voice was heard in the wilderness and desert areas of Judea proclaiming the coming of the Messiah; and finally, the one who was beheaded by Herod at the request of his illicit wife, Herodias, through her daughter, Salome, after she entertained Herod.
A term that comes to mind in describing John is a “straight arrow.” There was no duplicity about him. He named things as they were— following the way of the prophets who had gone before him. John Shea, theologian and writer, in his poetic and symbolic descriptions, had some key ways of acquainting us with John the Baptist. Some years ago he wrote about John the Baptist, calling him “The One Who Lit the Way for the Light of the World.” This selection appeared in John Shea’s book, Starlight. Very clearly and poetically he captures the character and personality of John the Baptist, who also plays one of the three outstanding biblical roles in the Advent season.