Saint John the Baptist was probably a sight to behold. Scripture says “John was
clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild
honey.” He also lived out in the desert wilderness far from civilization, a hike for anyone
who wanted to see him. Yet our Gospel for this Second Sunday of Advent tells us that
people flocked to go see him and hear the message that he preached.
What did John have to offer? Certainly not an easy life of comfort. Rather, he offered a
real message of peace, truth, redemption, and a promise that something better was at
hand in the form of a Savior, if only we are willing to repent and seek it out. Equally
important - he offered this message with sincerity and personal investment. After all,
the guy living on bugs and honey in the desert dressed in a camel-hair toga probably
isn’t in it for the paycheck or the creature comforts. He has skin in the game. John was
all-in: He lived faith and repentance in a way that made him eccentric by some
measures, but electric and inspiring by all others. When people saw John, they knew
the Savior was coming, and he meant it with every fibre of his being.
As you might have guessed, Porto Charities is all-in for a good cause as we prepare for
our Lord. As we work with our partners and benefactors to make Catholic education
more accessible and inclusive to all, we know it takes sacrifice, commitment, patience,
love and sincerity. Inclusion in our schools and workplaces often takes unconventional
thinking and new arrangements, too, which can be challenging but also inspiring. But
like John the Baptist, we share a message of hope for a better future and mean it.
We’re grateful to all our partners who help us spread that inspiration.
However, this week’s Gospel presents us each with a challenge: Are we all-in for Jesus,
too? Is our faith sincere? What does the witness of our life look like? Often, we look at
our schedule and see where we can try to fit Jesus in. But what if we started with a
different, more unconventional approach? What if we made 10-20 minutes of prayer a
daily priority, and arranged all else around it? Sure, it would take sacrifice. But like
John the Baptist, we’d also be more alive and inspiring. And moreover, God would use
that time to do so much more. After all, God is never outdone in generosity.