Advent reflection: John the Baptist

Holly offers a reflection on John the Baptist and the coming of Jesus.

The beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah:

“Look, I am going to send my messenger before you; he will prepare your way. A voice cries in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.”

And so it was that John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins.

John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey. In the course of his preaching he said, “Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.”

Mark 1: 1-8

John the Baptist is such an interesting character. He was mysterious and many people were perplexed by the way he lived his life.

He wasn’t someone you would approach or go to if you wanted to be given an easy answer or to be flattered. He told the truth and pointed past himself and directed others to someone greater: Jesus.

During this season of Advent, it’s a key time to look beyond ourselves and straight to Jesus. How often are we really doing that? Our faith can sometimes just be something we lean into because it feels comfortable or familiar, but, as Pope Benedict XVI says, we were not made for comfort.

John wasn’t concerned by what the world held to be important. He was passionate about God and people around him could see that there was something that set him apart from other religious people.

How can John’s life speak to me and transform me? What in my life can I put aside to grow in holiness?