Living the Gospel – January 26, 2020

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John is in prison. Can you imagine how Jesus felt? I don’t know if we ever think about them as young boys. They were cousins. I’m sure they played together, grew up together…grew to be good friends. Then John began his vocation as Jesus forerunner: The voice of one crying in the desert, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” Now he is in prison and in their time, with Herod as king, to be imprisoned meant certain execution—not a fair and just trial. Jesus also knew that He might be next.

Jesus must have been devastated—yet He saw it as part of the Father’s plan. How did He respond? He could have pulled away from “the Plan” hidden himself in fear. He could have mounted a military defense against Herod. John was respected, he had done no wrong. Others would have come to his aid.

But Jesus would have none of this. He continued His Father’s plan simply picking up where John had left off. What was His first teaching? “Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand ”.

John’s imprisonment was a defining factor in Jesus’ life. He did not respond with evil. He would not let evil prevail. Jesus was a light to the nations. He would always respond to evil with good. Responding with evil would let Satan be the victor.

We cannot always predict or control some of those defining factors in our lives: the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, our own illness. What we can control is our response to that situation. Do we hide, try to run away out of shame or fear? Do we seek revenge? Do we become so frustrated, overwhelmed or depressed that we do not respond at all?

We have a Light shining in our darkness, a Light to grab hold of, to lead us, to guide us. And while Christ IS that Light, most often He comes to us through one another. Andrew, Peter, James, and John were called by Christ to leave their nets behind to follow Him. We too are called. Most of us cannot leave our “fishing nets” behind and we are not asked to. What we are called to do is to prioritize our lives putting Christ and our neighbor first…to take those difficult moments/situations and do all we can to bring light into that darkness.

Let us respond to those defining moments of our lives—indeed ALL the moments of our lives by following the Light of Christ.

Linda Caminiti