The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Luke 1:57-66, 80
Voice of God
So they said to him, "Who are you? He said, "I am the voice, "John 1:23 John the Baptist defined himself as a voice, a" phone" in original Greek text. What a wonderful self-description for anyone who wants to be an evangelist! Voice is another expression for word. It is used some 131 times for speaking. All of us are at our apostolic best when we voice the words of Jesus.
The Word of God is full of power. The Holy Scripture begins with the creative word of God. "Let there be light and there was light" Genesis 1:3 God voices a word which immediately becomes a concrete reality! When we see light we see an accomplishment of God’s voice. Scripture uses the word debar which means both speech and deed. In OT it is used 870 times for a word and 290 times for deed, "Is anything (debar) too hard for the LORD?" When God speaks this to Abraham about his coming child Gen 18:4 He is saying his word can do wonderful ( Heb. pala’) things. One of the reasons we have so little success in our spiritual lives is that we undervalue the power of the Word. We are poor because we are not rich in His word. "By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host." Ps 33:6 If we are facing a big day we speak of having a "power breakfast". If we are discouraged and spiritually exhausted we need to have a power breakfast on the voice of God in SS!
Another reason we should be devoted to the Word of God is that it is the ultimate way in this life to be close to the Lord. As in our human relationships we must be good listeners if we ever hope to achieve intimacy. How many human associations start with a conflagration of intense feelings only to die in a rather short time in the absence of communication. The same is our relationship with God. Listening to the voice of God is the key to intimacy with Him! God "in his very essence of infinite love is relational and self-communicating. The Father, from all eternity, is never silent. He, in the love of the Holy Spirit, eternally speaks his Word, who is his co-equal Son." (Preaching the Mystery of Faith) USCCB How intense our devotion to the Voice of God should be!
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.