THE PASSION OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST (MEMORIAL)
Herod liked to listen to him.
Try to imagine Herod listening to John the Baptist. John pulled no punches about Herod’s illicit marriage, and Herod could have had John killed immediately. But there was something about John that attracted him—and also scared him. He just couldn’t bring himself to execute the man.
What was it that moved Herod so much? Surely it was the Holy Spirit working through John. The Spirit used John’s passion for holiness and his moral courage to speak to the hunger for truth and goodness that stirred deep in Herod’s soul. Through John, he showed Herod that it wasn’t too late to change. So Herod kept putting off the execution thinking he might find the courage to repent and truly change.
You might not put yourself in the same category as John the Baptist, but in one sense you are like him. The Holy Spirit lives in you and is calling you to reach people with God’s love and mercy. So consider: how might the Holy Spirit make you attractive to the people around you? Maybe, like John, you have a passion for holiness that grabs their attention. Or maybe your sense of peace helps other people stay calm in a crisis. Or perhaps your joy overflows and lifts the spirits of your loved ones.
Do you want to cultivate these spiritual gifts? Then nurture your relationship with the Lord. The more you spend time with him, the more you will experience his love and mercy in your own life. And that will make you more attractive. There will be something different about you, something that sets you apart and touches the people around you.
A word of warning: don’t get discouraged if you have a hard time seeing the impact you are making on people. Remember, Herod never found the courage to respond to John’s words. But the fact that it took his wife’s scheming to ensnare him shows that Herod was beginning to change. Similarly, you can trust that the Holy Spirit will use the example of your faith to have an impact on the world around you.
“Lord, fill me with your Spirit so that I may touch others with your love.”
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Psalm 33:12-13, 18-21