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The call of the Spirit

Photo by mehrdad ghadiri on Unsplash

Today we’re celebrating the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the feast that brings the Christmas season to an end. As it celebrates the first public appearance of Jesus it refocuses our attention in a new way. The humility and openness of John the Baptist turns our attention towards Jesus:

“Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals.”

His action takes an already growing sense of expectancy in the crowd and points it towards its source and hope. He shows us the one we are to follow, to imitate, to grow into. Reflecting on the Luke’s account Sr Verna Holyhead writes:

“It is Jesus’ prayer that tears open the heavens for the descent of the Holy Spirit and the revelation of his true identity that acclaims him as the Beloved Son on whom God’s favour rests. It is the same for us…At prayer we struggle to hear what God is calling us to be, to know who we are in our deepest truth, at the still point where the Spirit has descended into our depths and anointed us for mission.”

Her words suggest that our following of Christ begins with prayer, with the listening “with the ear of the heart” that St Benedict calls us to. It is in prayer that we discover who we truly are and can respond to the life changing call of the Spirit.

What enables you to open the ear of your heart to the God who calls you into new life?