Gospel: Mark 1:1-13
Old Testament: Gen 37:1-11
New Testament: 1 Cor 1:1-19
Psalms: 41, 52, 44
John the Baptist is one of those Bible Characters that always intrigues me. I am convinced that if today we saw a man standing in the Potomac River, dressed in camel’s hair, eating locusts and honey, and shouting, “Prepare the way of the Lord!” that man would be institutionalized. It’s difficult to imagine how and why his methods of proclaiming the coming of Christ worked… but they did.
For me, every time I read any account of the life and ministry of John the Baptist, I feel THAT call, THAT pull to “Prepare the way of the Lord!” I feel a sense of urgency to engage the world in a way that allows the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of the people around me. Often, it is so easy to think only about myself – my own relationship with God, my own needs… but John the Baptist has an astonishing way of waking me up, so to speak. Whenever I read, whenever I hear, “Prepare the way,” I realize that what I do is bigger than myself – not because I am a priest, but because I am a Christian.
The call to “Prepare the way” is, indeed, a call to prepare to receive Jesus into my life; but perhaps more importantly, it is also a call to be a witness, just as John the Baptist was a witness. I am reminded that how I act, what I say, and how I respond to those around me matters…all the time. The more I can reflect God’s love in my life, maybe, just maybe the more others will be open to receiving God into theirs.
Prepare the way… what a great call… what a great reminder.