It is the message of hope and joy that through the Baptist, John, from the very first page of his gospel, wants to announce to the disciples. Despite the apparent overwhelming power of evil in the world, what awaits humanity is the communion of life “with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” These things—John says—I write “so that our joy may be complete” (1 Jn 1:3-4).
Originally, the balls and the lights on Christmas trees symbolized the hope that nature would eventually overcome the cold and darkness of winter, and produce once again fruits and crops for our nourishment. May those fruits of conversion also bring hope and light to a world that is still in a deep moral winter.
When he spoke of God’s wrath, John had no clear idea of how it would manifest. The wrath of God is an image that recurs often in the Old Testament. It is not intended as an explosion of hatred on the victim. It is an expression of God’s love: he is fighting evil, not the person who does it. He does not want to hit the person but to free each one from sin.
Lord, thank You for the gift of St. John the Baptist. May his witness of humility inspire me in my Christian walk. Help me, Lord, to always point others to You rather than to myself. Jesus, I trust in You.