John the Voice, Jesus the Word

St. Augustine had some wonderful thoughts about John the Baptist and Jesus.  (My translation from the Italian.)

“John is the voice.  However, we say of the Lord: ‘In the beginning was the Word’ (John 1,1).   John is the voice that passes, Christ the eternal Word that was in the beginning.  If you take the word from a voice, what remains?  Where there is no intelligible sense, that which remains is simply a vague sound.  A voice without words is heard, but it doesn’t build up the heart…..When I think what I want to say, immediately in my heart a word arises.  Wanting to speak to you, I search for a way to reach you with that word that I find in me.  I give it sound, and thus, by my voice, I speak to you.  The sound of my voice carries to you the meaning of the word and after having revealed to you its significance, my voice vanishes.  The word that is brought to you by sound is already in your heart without moreover ever leaving my heart.”

As was the Baptist, we too are called to be voices in the wilderness crying out the Word of the Lord.  It is not our word, but the Word of God that we speak.  We are but voices that carry the Word that is already in our hearts.  When we have finished speaking, we fade away, but the Word, our Lord, remains and simultaneously comes to all who hear.  

We are witnesses.  We have something to say.  We have seen, and we must publicly testify to that which we have seen and heard.  The apostles died doing this very thing, as did John the Baptist.  (Did you know that the word “witness” comes from the Greek word for martyr?)  We must give voice to the wonders that God has wrought for us.  Let us look at our lives, and cry out, as witnesses, of the works and Word of God.  

The world is hungry for our voices, for the Word we carry in our hearts, a Word to be spoken to each other.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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