I figured after six and one half years, it was time for an upgrade. I also learned that around 80% of people who access the internet today do so with a hand-held device, and my previous blog was no longer user friendly. How can I / we be successful in the New Evangelization if we are not user friendly?!
I am grateful and humbled by the readership of this blog over the years. It is hard to believe that this blog post is number 800! I pray God will continue to grant me the inspiration and the perseverance to offer each of you and many more to come a word that serves to draw us closer to the Eternal Word.
It seems Providential that today’s introduction of the more user-friendly blog format is on the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist. John was a voice crying out in the desert, (Luke 3:4) preparing the way for the Savior. John, even in the womb, leaped for joy at the approach of the Blessed Mother, who bore the child Jesus in her womb, the One who is the Joy of the world. (Luke 1: 41)
User-friendly may not be a typical way to describe St. John the Baptist, but by God’s grace and divine plan, his voice was heard by many. Luke’s Gospel tells us that the ‘hand of the Lord’ was with John. (Luke 1:66) This is ultimately what made John’s life and mission capable from the Jordan River of drawing the world’s attention to Jesus. God’s grace is what enabled John to proclaim when he saw Jesus walk by: “Behold, the Lamb of God.” (John 1:36)
God’s grace, ‘the hand of the Lord,’ is also with each of us. This is the reality that qualifies each of us to be ‘user-friendly’ and capable of drawing the attention of today’s world to Jesus, who is our joy. Yes, each of us have the God-given qualities to first become followers of Christ, and then (and only then) to point to Him by everything that we say and do. In the words of St. Paul: “our qualification comes from God, who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:5-6)
For us to be user-friendly on behalf of the New Evangelization does not mean that we need to be like John the Baptist with regard to his austerity and hard-hitting manner of speaking the Truth. It means that we must allow the grace of God to form us to be as capable and effective in drawing attention to Jesus in the world today as was John in his world. This, indeed, requires the grace of God and open, docile hearts capable of discerning how we are to give voice to the same Truth today.
I pray today’s Solemnity recalling the Birth of John the Baptist may serve as a moment of grace to grant us discerning hearts to hear the voice of the Lord speaking deep with each of us. The work of the New Evangelization invites each of us to lend our voice to the Eternal Word, in the same fashion as John the Baptist. The New Evangelization challenges us to continue the work begun by John the Baptist in pointing the way to the Lamb of God.
God reward each of you for your goodness!