Repent & Believe in the Good News

– Friday Week 4 of Advent –

“Immediately Zechariah’s mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their neighbours, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him. ”  [Luke 1:64-66]

John the Baptist was a relative of Jesus and was considered by Jesus to be the greatest of any ‘born of woman’ (Luke 7:28). He anticipated the coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, by proclaiming a baptism of repentance; calling people to ‘make straight a way for the Lord’. John had a great capacity for teaching because of his willingness to take instruction from God in his own life. He had made straight the way of the Lord in his own life, and so was able authentically to call others to do likewise.

While this ministry of preparation was specific to John, each of us is called to do similarly. As Pope Francis writes, “Let yourself be transformed. Let yourself be renewed by the Spirit, so that this can happen, lest you fail in your precious mission” (GE, 24).

Our mission as Christians reflects John’s. Each in our own way is to allow God to use us to call others back to God. This can seem a little daunting until we recognise that this is God’s work, not ours. Like John, we are to become people who learn to pray and to simplify our lives so that we can pay attention to who God is and what God is doing. The more we do this, turning away from those things that do not lead to God and which prevent us from hearing and responding to him, the more God can work in and through us in his desire to reach out to others.

Let us pray that we can live like John the Baptist did and love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.


By David Kruse

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