8TH December 2013
Before the motorways a journey took ages with twists and turns, corners and hills. Now much has been made straight. John’s message was about making straight paths in the heart and in our lives, that we could live where words and actions match; where kindness matches convictions.
John the Baptist was a man on one mission – to be the messenger, of the one he did not know. His life had a vision and a purpose like when we are really committed to people or to causes or to the poor or peace in the world. John was the man of the desert food and desert dress; he took time out to find what was the biggest thing in life and then kept following it, often not knowing where it would lead him. He was a man of deep faith and commitment.
The human heart is complicated and we know that. We need Jesus to invade our hearts with love compassion and forgiveness. We need his gentle hand guiding us. God’s guiding is gentle. John found that Jesus was a more gentle guide, no name-calling, no bringing the axe to the tree but calling each of us his friend, while pruning the tree rather than cutting it down.
Jesus would melt the snow to make a path, not hack at it and destroy it in the process. Melted snow means the snow is gone, hacked snow never goes fully! Our hearts can be melted by the love of God and the love of others.
Lord God, make our hearts like yours.
Donal Neary SJ