Luke makes us aware of how well John The Baptist responded to his unique vocation.
For many generations all kinds of characters had proclaimed themselves to be the promised saviour of the Jewish people. They came and went with a few managing to acquire limited notoriety.
But John was different. First of all he was not promoting himself but the one who was imminently following him onto center stage. John was a precursor.
None the less, he had a belly full of fire. So much so that many, if not most, of those who sought to commit to his cause by way of a symbolic baptism, did so because they were convinced that HE was the Messiah.
He alone knew without a doubt that this was not so but given the crowds that day after day surrounded him, he might well have been tempted to catch the ball and run with it. What a victory that would have been for Satan!
In a way, John was flying blind, not knowing that the person to whom he would soon give way was his own cousin ...he was simply and unshakeably certain that when the moment came he would know and react without hesitation, "Behold the Lamb of God!"
In the meantime he was ferocious in his threats to those who were there for the entertainment and who, in their attitude, showed disrespect ...but for those who humbly sought a new life foundation, be they pagan Roman soldier conscripts from conquered lands, or local tax collectors capable of fleecing their mothers for personal profit or simple peasants rubbing shoulders with haughty patricians of the region he was far from being ferocious.
Rather his hope filled words inspired them to share the good news ...as did Andrew with his dear brother, Peter ... "Simon , do you love me?" ... "Yes Lord, You know I do!"
It all began with John. "Start NOW, get ready, get into step with the future. Share with the less fortunate, be honest, be just."
600 years before John saw the light of day as reflected in his mother Elizabeth’s eyes, the prophet Zephania projected a messianic image of God renewing His people in His love.
Jesus would personify that vision of the future upon which the hopes of believers in the God of Abraham had persisted through many centuries. Not only personify it but enrich it beyond any possible expectation.
Jesus, the incarnate word of God, the second person of the Blessed Trinity.
And so Paul cries out ... "Gaudeamus" … Rejoice! ... Rejoice in the Lord! ... In the Peace of God!
And Zephania echoes from 2600 years ago ...he will renew you in His Love!
In all the history of mankind, are we not the most richly blessed?