Deacon Steven Johnson’s Reflection
Reflection for the 12th Week of Ordinary Time, Thursday, 6-23-22, Year C
Readings: Is 49:1-6; Ps 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15; Acts 13:22-26; Gospel Lk 1:57-66, 80
Solemnity: Nativity of St. John The Baptist
Theme: Make Known the Lord
When a VIP comes to town there is quite a bit of planning that goes on. Months in advance the VIP’s people set a plan for his/her arrival. They arrange travel plans, pickup times at the airport, places to stay, and itineraries for all the events that the VIP will attend. All of this is usually designed and coordinated by the Master of Ceremonies (MC).
In anticipation of the VIP’s trip, the MC arrives early in town to be sure everything is going as planned. The MC makes sure that announcements are made, posters, and billboards are put up and local news is notified. The MC also makes sure that everyone understands their roles, and what they are to do, and is in charge of making sure all aspects of the visit are arranged and ready for the arrival of the VIP. By the time the VIP arrives in the town, everyone is well aware of who the VIP is and what is going to happen, all because of the preparation that is overseen by the MC.
St. John the Baptist was the MC for the VIP, Jesus. God set him apart from all others for this very special role in salvation history. It is no coincidence that John’s nativity is announced right before Jesus’s nativity by the angel Gabriel in Luke’s Gospel. John is usually described as the “prophet of the Most High,” while Jesus is the “Son of the Most High.” St. John the Baptist came before Jesus in order to prepare the people for His coming. The MC serves the VIP.
Jesus’s impact on the world at the beginning of His ministry would not have been as great if it were not for the preparatory work of John the Baptist before Jesus’s arrival on the scene. St. John the Baptist took years to prepare the people for Jesus’s arrival. One of the entrapments of an MC is that people begin to think the MC is the VIP. A good MC will always be sure that the focus of the people is squarely set on the VIP and not himself.
Once the VIP arrives, the MC fades into the background. The VIP takes the reins and drives the mission he was sent to complete. Without the work of the MC, the VIP’s job would be much slower and harder to accomplish. The success of the VIP is predicated on the preparatory work of the MC and his/her staff. Behind every successful person is a competent staff or partner who helped them get to where they are today. For Jesus, that staff member was St. John the Baptist.
In today’s age, all of us are called by God to be like St. John the Baptist, an MC if you will, for Jesus. Think about how you can be a herald for Christ and prepare those around you for Jesus’s return, where justice will prevail, and He grants to all believers everlasting salvation in His Father’s heavenly kingdom.