Do not quench the Spirit (1 Thes 5, 19)
With God at our side, we shall never be shaken. He is the eternal reality, the solid truth, which affords us full security.
The insecure who keep looking for human approval tend to lie and do everything possible to hide the truth. In contrast, St. John the Baptist is not afraid of the truth. He admits it without reservation.
That is because the only concern of Jesus’ forerunner is God and the mission he has received from him. Did he have something personal to hide, some worldly interest to protect or material assets to lose, he would probably not confess the truth so readily.
Nothing, no prestige or claim to superiority, ties poor John down. But rich in faith and trust in Providence, he proclaims the truth with all naturalness and freedom.
But his simple and humble reply does not satisfy those who deem themselves above the rest. These investigators have not come to find the truth but to impose it, so very certain they are of their possession and grasp of it.
The prosecutors, and judges at the same time, interrogate the Baptist, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”—as though one could know exactly and control the Spirit’s trajectory. Anyone who, in effect, declares himself all-knowing, and controlling even God, crowns himself as the great epiphany of the truth.
Such one is not waiting for anybody greater than him. Nor does he have a need for revelation, since his intelligence already grasps everything. Satisfied with his righteousness, he does not need anybody to bring him any good news. The self-complacent denies he is a captive, prisoner, out of favor, unjust or brokenhearted.
But could he really be joyful, if he is always worried about the possibility of losing the favor of powerful leaders who treat him solely on the basis of his performance and on whose patronage he depends for his promotions? Moreover, it surely occurs to him every now and then that experience proves that human reality is fleeting, unstable and unreliable.
On the other hand, those who trust in the Lord and find their strength and certainty in him, not in flesh, rejoice heartily. They devote themselves to more important things like the breaking of the bread; they eat their meals with exultation and grateful hearts. As St. Vincent de Paul did, they strive to reproduce in themselves the image of the one who has been sent to evangelize the poor.
Come, Holy Spirit! Guide us to all truth and set us free.
Ross Reyes Dizon