Of all the children born to women,
there is no one greater than him.
This is what our Master said about John the Baptist.
And he knew what he was saying.
A rough, strong man,
With a sharp tongue,
Living all by himself in the desert.
A man who does not hesitate to utter what he thinks!
Above all a man whose whole life was centred
on waiting for someone else.
John was waiting for Jesus.
His whole life was focused on waiting for him.
He prayed and fasted,
preached and baptised,
always attentive to his coming.
Simply by living his life,
this man manifests to anyone who cares to see
where the virus of our faith lies.
The virus which is destroying our system.
Our problem is that we don’t expect anything in life.
We are so snug in our laziness,
we have become so used to our resignation
that perhaps the only thing we aspire for is
the salary at the end of the month,
an outing with friends,
a good grade in the finals,
no complications at home or at work.
We have grown old prematurely.
We find it hard to move, both physically and spiritually.
Why else can one want in life?
We are well enough as we are!
A quiet place,
enough dough in the bank
and that’s it!
John was waiting for Jesus’ coming
because he knew he was to be the Messiah.
The people’s liberator.
He realized that everyone needed to be freed
because everyone is enchained.
We don’t wait for Jesus.
Because we have made out of the Christian
the good-honest-busy-prudent-comfortable-quiet-coward man
who never risks anything.
However the Christian is the being-liberated person.
“I was chained and now I am being freed…” shouts jubilantly the Christian.
This is why a Christian slowly gets over the fear of others.
He stops seeing others as competitors and starts understanding them.
He becomes an icon of compassion
even when they are mean to him.
He starts appreciating everything that happens around him.
He stops pitying himself.
He knows everything has been permitted or wanted by God, his Father,
for his own good.
God will not allow even a tear
to fall for no reason from his children’s eyes.
Christians are happy persons.
They do not need to taste the emptiness of sin
to enjoy themselves
because they are too full of God’s charm.
Jesus Christ was the most important event in the life of John The Baptist.
He participated in his suffering… when he was arrested and beheaded.
After all… if we are tourists at Calvary,
we risk remaining tourists at the Resurrection.
The Master himself promised us that
“we can do things greater than the ones He did.”
And He does not exaggerate!
Look at John The Baptist.
“My soul blesses the Lord, the great King
because Jerusalem will be built anew
and his house for ever and ever.
The gates of Jerusalem will be built
of sapphire and of emerald,
and all your walls of precious stone,
the towers of Jerusalem will be built of gold
and their battlements of pure gold.
The streets of Jerusalem will be paved
with ruby and with stones from Ophir.
The gates of Jerusalem will resound with songs of exultation;
and all her houses will say, ‘Alleluia!’”
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.