Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
June 24th, 2011
Brian Kokensparger

Arts and Sciences
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The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
[587] (Mass during the Day) Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15
Acts 13: 22-26
Luke 1: 57-66, 80

A few weeks ago, I read about the life of a circus promoter.  “What interesting work that must be,” I thought, “always being immersed in the hubbub of the circus, with the animals and the acts, and getting a daily dose of watching the joy on children’s faces.”  Then I read on and discovered that he rarely got a chance to actually attend the circus, because he was always out in front, doing the legwork before the circus came to town.  By the time the circus arrived, he was already in the next town.

How difficult it must be to promote something that you rarely get to enjoy.

That is the life of Saint John the Baptist.  As described in today’s Gospel, even the circumstances of his birth and circumcision showed that John was no ordinary person.  Had he desired it, he most likely could have garnered a large following for himself.  He could even have competed with Jesus for followers.  Instead, he promoted the coming of Jesus, preparing the way for Jesus’ triumphal entry into public ministry.  And then, when the time was right, he simply got out of the way and let Jesus speak for Himself.

How many of us struggle to make a difference in the world, when what most people really mean by “making a difference” is calling the shots?  John the Baptist was a great saint, but more than doing great deeds, he earned his reputation by experiencing the presence of the Messiah, and inviting others to share that excitement.   He pointed the way to Jesus.

This idea of pointing the way fascinates me.  It’s not about doing things, it’s about living in such a way that the things we do – no matter how few or many – are done in a sacred way.  Saint John the Baptist’s entire life was a testament to sacred living – his ministry, his speech, even his ascetic life in the desert.  All of these worked together to do one thing – give him the credibility and passion to speak with authority about the coming of Jesus, the Christ – to promote the Messiah.

So when we feel we are in a spiritual rut, that our lives are just filled with mundane tasks, perhaps we could benefit by asking ourselves, “What is the most credible and authentic way that I can do that next task?”  Even something as mundane as taking out the garbage could be the beginning of a transformed life.  Though I have some ideas about how one could take out the garbage in a “sacred” way, I’ll leave it to you and the Lord to come up with some of your own ideas.

I’ll simply get out of His way and let Him speak for Himself.

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