24 June 2016
Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist
It never fails; every summer there’s road construction going on somewhere. And just when you think you have your detour all figured out, it changes. And in those times, sometimes you just have to follow the detour signs to get where you want to be.
Of course, this is how life usually happens, too. We’re going along, and then we get a sign that pushes us onto another path. And, while that is sometimes annoying, other times it’s a very great blessing. And that’s what we celebrate today with the birth of John the Baptist. We celebrate the birth of a detour sign. And he says: “Go this way! Go toward the Lamb of God! There he is!”
Of all the saints we ask to pray for us, St. John the Baptist is one of the big ones. And that’s because he was born simply—and only—to redirect us toward Jesus. That’s his whole reason for being: to be a detour sign reminding us to stay on the right path.
How many times does it seem that we ask the Lord for guidance? “Lord, show me a sign.” “Lord, show me what to do. Help me.” And he does help us. He gives us John the Baptist as a powerful intercessor; as a guide. But that “spirit” of John the Baptist also seems to live on in: our mentors, the help of friends, in words of wisdom we hear, and in those “ah-ha!” moments when we get some clear direction.
The “good news” we celebrate today is that God does not leave us to wander around, lost. We know that. And so, if we’re ever lost in our spiritual life, or life in general, maybe we missed a detour sign along the way. Saint John the Baptist, pray for us; show us the way to Jesus.