Poverty – His clothes were not the latest fashion, food was hardly fancy cuisine, his Humility – at accepting his secondary role in God’s plan, but most of all his Generosity – at handing over his disciples to follow Jesus.
He said he was not worthy to tie Jesus’ sandal and accepted his role as Precursor. He could have persuaded his followers that he was the messiah and taken all the credit and fame.
It is sometimes difficult for us to accept our subservient roles with graciousness. Resentment can cause a loss of patience or even a displacement of our anger on innocent victims. I find that I need to ask John the Baptist not only for patience, but also for his humility for accepting things as they are.
But the hardest thing for some of us is to hand over our faculties, our forgetfulness, to admit that we do not have the gifts that once were ours. When we forget the names, or words that flowed so easily, or confusion in following some conversation, it can be difficult to accept. I guess we should be grateful for the closed captions on our TV during these Christmas Specials!
So, it can be a consolation to view the example of John the Baptist during this Advent season and ask his help to accept our own poverty that accompanies loss. Finally, we might ask for John’s generosity in handing over to God our own personal losses that occur each day.
How did I become humbler during this year of change and loss? How will I carry those lessons to be a better person in the new year?