Daily Reflection – 12/15/2022
Jesus said to the crowds: “Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” (Matthew 11:11-15)
“. . . among those born of women, there has none greater than John the Baptist.”
The words of Jesus Christ bestow upon John the Baptist the supreme compliment from The Supreme!
Why? What was it about John the Baptist that Jesus loved so much?
John the Baptist spent his public ministry reminding those who heard his message that it was not about him but rather one who was greater than him and whose mission was far greater than his own.
He wants us to be as John the Baptist was. He prepared the way so that Jesus could enter the hearts of those who accepted him.
John preached a gospel of inter connectedness. Of all of us connected because we love our God. He also reminded his followers that each had to be become small so each could be made great.
To do that, each of us needs to get out of the way of God. You see, God is acting in our lives and in our world, but we cannot be a part of that action if we become stuck on ourselves. We can become stuck because we think we are so important. We can become stuck because we believe that we are worthless. We can become stuck because we think we are so holy. We can become stuck because we believe we are such sinners. We can become stuck because everyone admires us. We can become stuck because everyone ignores us.
Through all of this, John the Baptist says, “It is not about you! Get out of the way!” How do you become a good parent? By being present, by being loving, by being wise. But also by believing that God loves your children even more than you do and that God is already leading them to growth. How do we become successful in business? We do our research and act with integrity. But also believe that whatever we do is somehow being used by God as a part of a greater plan. How do we decide which college we should attend? We visit the schools and talk to family and friends. But then we trust that God will lead us to the right place.
If God were simply a creation of our own minds, then we would be in charge. But God is real, powerful and active. To fulfill the vision, we also need to understand how connected we are to one another.
Jesus said that he has come to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and release to prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the Lord. This is what Jesus’ ministry is about, and he wants us to be a part of it.
It calls us to recognize that the joys of another are our joys, so too are the needs and pain of another our needs and pain. To be connected to The Greater than we need to be connected to the smallest among us.
It calls us to think about what kingdom we want to belong to. Is it the kingdom of the secular world or the kingdom of God? If it’s the latter then we need to understand our interconnectedness to one another and act as if we believed it.
To do that, to be part of the whole of God’s people, means that we sublimate our individual ego and yield to Him. We need to get out of the way. When we open ourselves to His will in our lives, we are able to see the path that he wants us to take.
When we see that path, we will find that even the simplest actions of our lives take on deeper meaning. God is using us in His plan to love and serve the world.
Now that’s a life worth living.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, today by your grace I will strive to hear what you are inspiring in my life, and give you the freedom and the space to act beyond my expectations: I surrender to you. Take care of everything. “
Richard Rohr once said: “If it is true that our relationship to God in heaven is not about us, it is also true that our relationship to God on earth is not about us. When I say that it is not about us, I am not saying that we are inconsequential or worthless. God has given us real talents and abilities and expects us to use them. God has made us sons and daughters and given us great value. But when I say that our relationship to God is not about us, I am saying that God’s role and God’s action are primary. We play a supporting role. It is not about our plans. It is about God’s plan. It is not about our power. It is about God’s power. It is not about our glory. It is about God’s glory.