God’s special promise of help and comfort to His people is illustrated through today’s first reading. He spoke to the Israelites through the Prophet Isa¬iah. God promises to make the barren desert fertile and He will cause springs to flow out from there.
In our lives today when we face a crisis we too are in a barren desert. When we face challenges and come to a stop in life, we become tired and cannot move further, we feel that we are in exile. But when we ponder on the word of God and on His powerful promises, we realise that there is nothing we need to do but allow God to take care of everything. He takes the burden on to His shoulders. The battle belongs to Him not to us. When we are in exile, God holds our hand. When we become dry in our journey, He makes streams of living water flow through us.
In today’s Gospel proclamation, the Lord Jesus gives St. John the Baptist the highest of compliments: “Among those born of woman there has been none greater than John the Baptist.” Our Lord Je¬sus revealed this because St. John the Baptist was the last of the prophets and the one who was sent before the promised Messiah to prepare the way for Him. And then He further says, “Yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John.” Don’t these words awaken our hearts for a longing for heaven? What else could matter in life but to arrive there, where the least of us will be greater than the greatest one on this earth?
A true longing for heaven is important since it is not easy to arrive there. We need to take the example of St. John the Baptist, dying to our earthly desires. Am I prepared to give up the most wanted desires in my life? Can I be humble as St. John the Baptist was? Lord Jesus, You are showing us that eternal life in heaven is for those who are willing to die to themselves and to live for You alone. If we experience something painful or difficult today, let us offer up the unpleasantness to God, knowing it is nothing in comparison to the reward of heaven.
Prayer: Abba Father, give us the strength to become humble as St. John the Baptist did and to die to ourselves. Amen.