John the Baptist
“The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day
of his manifestation to Israel: Lk 1:80
John the Baptist lived in the wilderness. All of nature is a word 0f God to us. In creation, God reveals Himself to us. Every word we speak tells of what is inside of us. Every piece of nature reveals the wonders of God. The Judean desert is awesome. I can see John grabbing a Grasshopper for a light lunch! The desert wilderness is no place for the faint of heart!
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” Rom 1:18
“It is our humble conviction that the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God’s creation, in the last speck of dust of our planet.” -Pope Francis, Laudato Si
John heard the voice of God around him. I am writing this surrounded by Sugar Maple Trees. The mature tree I am looking at has 140 miles of leaf surface on it! One square millimeter on a leaf which is a little bigger than a dot on my page contains about 500,000 chloroplasts on it. These are minute little factories producing sugar and other important ingredients for its growth. I thought Detroit had a lot of factories. God is wonderful in His works!
Today we are growing in appreciating the wonder and beauty of God’s Word to us in the stunning earth! We are finding each day the incredible wisdom and complexity of God’s creation! “O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty Lord?” Ps 89:5 John the Baptist was formed in the wilderness with an awesome image of the magnificent God!
God finally spoke His most wonderful Word Jesus to him. No wonder why his first sermon was on which is rather poorly translated as “repent”. Metanoia is the original word in Greek and means a change of heart and mind. God is bigger and more loving than you could dream! Open your mind to the startling Good News of Jesus! “The word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. … preaching a baptism of repentance (Metanoia) for the forgiveness of sins; Lk 3:3
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.