The Gift of Spiritual Insight

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Readings for Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Saints for Today

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’” John 1:29-30

Wow, the insight that St. John the Baptist had regarding Jesus is quite inspiring, mysterious and amazing. He sees Jesus coming toward him and he immediately states three revealed truths about Jesus: 1) Jesus is the Lamb of God; 2) Jesus ranks ahead of John; 3) Jesus existed before John.

How would John know all of this? What was the source of such profound statements about Jesus? Most likely John would have studied the Scriptures of the time and would have known the many statements about the coming Messiah spoken by the prophets of old. He would have known the Psalms and the Books of Wisdom. But, first and foremost, John would have known what he knew by the gift of faith. He would have had true spiritual insight granted by God.

This fact reveals not only the greatness of John and the depth of his faith, it also reveals the ideal we must strive for in life. We must strive to daily walk by authentic spiritual insight granted by God.

It’s not so much that we must live, day by day, in some sort of an evident and prophetic and mystical state. It’s not that we should expect to have superior knowledge over others. But we should be open to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit so as to gain a knowledge and understanding of life that is beyond what mere human reason can acquire by its own effort.

John was clearly filled with Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, Fortitude, Reverence and Wonder. These Gifts of the Spirit gave him an ability to live a life sustained by the grace of God. John knew things and understood things that only God could reveal. He loved and revered Jesus with a passion and submission of his will that could only be inspired by God. Most evidently, John’s holiness came as a consequence of his union with God.

Reflect, today, upon this exceptionally insightful statement from John regarding Jesus. John knew what he knew only because God was alive in his life leading him and revealing these truths. Commit yourself, this day, to an imitation of John’s deep faith and be open to all that God wants to speak to you.

My precious Lord Jesus, give me insight and wisdom so that I may know You and believe in You. Help me, each and every day, to discover more fully the great and awe-inspiring mystery of who You are. I love You, my Lord, and I pray that I may come to know and love You all the more. Jesus, I trust in You.

See also: Daily Reflection on Divine Mercy