The prologue to St. John’s gospel introduces God’s Son as the Word. This life-giving Word—spoken down through the ages—became flesh and lived in our midst. For all of Christian history, the Word is intimately connected with all of human life. It is the purpose of TWIL (“The Word Is Life”) to bring the gospel to life and to bring life to the gospel. This blog will feature reflections on the Sunday Scriptures from contemporary Catholic writers, words of wisdom for our Spiritual journey from saints and blessed, and thoughtful reflections on masterpieces of sacred art. We at Living with Christ hope that they will help you grow in your spiritual life and deepen your relationship with the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is sometimes difficult to understand the appeal of someone like John the Baptist. Who would want to go into the wilderness to hear some religious fanatic tell us to repent so that our sins might be forgiven?

In our own lives, it is often an extraordinary event or situation that impels us to seek God in a more personal way. Some of these are happy events, such as getting married or having a child; some, though, are situations that involve much suffering, such as sickness, unemployment, or the death of a loved one.

So it is that in today’s gospel, the people who come to John the Baptist to seek God are in difficult situations. Both groups mentioned—tax collectors and soldiers—were despised by their own people, who considered them unredeemable sinners. But these are the very ones who come to John to repent, to be baptized, and to ask how they can live justly.

This, then, is a gospel of hope: if even dishonest tax collectors and traitorous soldiers may be forgiven and may live justly, what hope there is for us! What hope for us, even in the most difficult situations we might encounter. And what hope for us when we remember that John prepares the way for the One to come—through whom, with whom, and in whom we celebrate, in hope, our Eucharist today.

Rev. Armand Mercier, OFM

Author: Living with Christ

Leave a Comment: