Today is the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. A man who prepared the way for many to Christ. As Christians, we are called to be His light on earth, drawing others to Him as John did. What behaviors are we displaying on a daily basis? Do they emulate Christ? Are we forgiving, thankful, loving, kind, and nonjudgemental? Nobody ever said being a Christian was easy . . . but if we live as John did, think about our reward in heaven. Now is the time to be bold, lay apostles. Don't shy away from speaking His Name constantly and out loud. Stop caring what others will think of you. Care about what Jesus will think of you . . .
In today's Gospel (Luke 1:57-66,80), as an infant, the crowds knew John was special:
When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.
In Anne a lay apostle's book Serving in Clarity, our Blessed Mother encourages us to be bold as the reward will be great:
"This is the time of my Son. Dear apostle, how overjoyed I am at the loyalty He receives from this current band of followers. You are like apostles of the past in that you serve with consistency and joy. You are unique, though, given that you serve during a time when the enemy seeks to have a complete hold on this world. This attempt to overcome the world is bold. It ensures that you will have to fight, as all apostles are called to fight. The difference for apostles in this time is the consistent level of resistance they face from the enemies of my Son. Consistent with the increased resistance is the increased grace, of course. Heaven and earth work together as in no other time."
Lay apostles, do you shy away from speaking the name of Jesus in public? I used to be that way. I used to think I didn't need to "convert" anyone . . . as long as I tried to do my best. Well, I was wrong. We are asked to spread His Words and this mission. We are asked to live our lives boldly, as the first apostles did. It can be scary and overwhelming to stand out in a crowd. Let me tell you . . . I have done it and sometimes great conversions happen. Sometimes there is ridicule and mockery. But when it's all said and done, I know I have done, to the best of my ability, what He asks of me. What can you do today to be bold for Christ?
Thank you, Lord, for the strength, wisdom, and support You have given me in times I was a little leery of being bold. Please continue to nudge me when I'm not bold enough!