The Birthday of St John the Baptist | Wednesday 24 June

Today is Wednesday the 24 June, the Birthday of St John the Baptist.

Bless the Lord, my soul, who leads me into life. The most important thing for me to do now, as I enter into prayer, is to let go for a moment, to let go of my own concerns, my own worries and fears and reluctance, and let myself be led by God, trusting that God, who loves me, will lead me into life.

Today’s reading is from the Book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 49:1-6

Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away! The Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he named me. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified." But I said, "I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my cause is with the Lord, and my reward with my God." And now the Lord says, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honoured in the sight of the Lord, and my God has become my strength— he says, "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

God calls each one of us in a particular way.  He called John the Baptist; he called Mary; more recently he has called well-known figures like Oscar Romero and Mother Teresa, and countless others too. How do I feel about this idea of each person’s personal call from God?

How do you feel about God’s personal love for you, and God’s personal call?  What might that call be?

As you hear these words of Isaiah again, remember that God wants us to be glad and confident about this shaping and moulding of our lives?  Through these words, can you hear God to telling you something specific, perhaps tell you about your relationship with him?

“I will give you as a light to the nations.” Think for a moment about your own friendships and acquaintances and experiences – about how God has put you in touch with a unique network of people and places.  Speak to God about your own situation.  Ask for God’s help in living out his calling.