They say that little babies sense a lot in the womb. Studies have even been done to try to determine just how much babies are aware of and at what age they start to hear sound and feel movement. The human person is incredible, aren’t we? Before we are even able to live on our own we are able to respond to sound, movement, touch, and light.
This is where we find ourselves in the Gospel for today, but John was not responding to any physical stimulus, he was responding to pure grace. We know from scripture that Mary was full of grace and that she was carrying God himself, and because of this truth John could not help but leap for joy. He knew even before he was born of the immense role this other baby would play in his salvation and his response is nothing less than complete gratitude.
When was the last time I truly allowed myself to become weak, dependent, small, and defenseless in the midst of the very same grace that Jesus offers me every day? When was the last time I lept for joy from knowing what Jesus will do and has done in my life? When was the last time I allowed myself to have childlike faith?
I truly ask myself this question as Christmas fast approaches and I hope you genuinely ask yourself this question as well. It is easy to get bogged down with the rules and expectations of faith. It is easy to get swept up in the negative talk and publicity circling around the Church Christ founded. It is easy to make prayer into a chore instead of a conversation with a lover.
But the faith is beautiful in its simplicity. If we ever find ourselves overcomplicating things, it helps to focus on this Gospel from today. God is pure grace, pure gift, and our response to that free gift should be a childlike leap for joy. Not because we deserve it, not because we have earned it, but because Christ bought it for us.
Here in this Advent season, let’s practice jumping. Let’s practice leaping for joy in the midst of grace. When the overcomplication and juridical controversies start to swirl, remember the simplicity of the Gospel. Jesus came so that we might have grace, and that should give us more joy than anything. From all of us here at Diocesan, God Bless!
“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.”
~ G. K. Chesterton
Tommy Shultz is a Solutions Evangelist for Diocesan. In that role, he is committed to coaching parishes and dioceses on authentic and effective Catholic communication. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at email@example.com.