Hearing God Speak

Wednesday, January 3, 2024
Christmas Weekday
Readings for Today

The Most Holy Name of Jesus—Optional Memorial


John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.” John 1:32–34

It’s interesting to note that in the Gospel of John, Saint John the Baptist never baptized Jesus, as is depicted in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Instead, in the Gospel of John, John the Baptist simply witnessed the descent of the Holy Spirit from a distance, and then spoke the quoted line above. The next day, the Baptist pointed to Jesus as the “Lamb of God,” and two of his own disciples left the Baptist to follow Jesus.

Why is there this apparent discrepancy between the Gospel of John and the three Synoptic Gospels? Though it’s hard to answer that for certain, one thing that is made uniquely clear in the Gospel of John is that the Baptist was given a unique spiritual knowledge by the Father that Jesus was the “Lamb of God.” In this Gospel, the revelation of Who Jesus was did not take place in a way that everyone present heard and saw. Rather, John’s Gospel focuses upon the interior realization that John the Baptist received from the One Who sent him. And the One Who sent him was the Father in Heaven.

One spiritual truth worth pondering from the account of the Gospel of John read today is that the conviction and certainty given to the Baptist about Jesus’ identity was so certain that he knew Who Jesus was beyond any shadow of a doubt. This personal revelation given to the Baptist changed his life. From that moment on, all he did was point people to Jesus.

As you ponder this spiritual revelation about Jesus that the Baptist received from the Father in Heaven, consider for yourself what would be more convincing. Would it be more convincing to hear an audible voice from Heaven declare Who Jesus was? Or to receive this same knowledge through an interior and spiritual communication from the Father? If you believe that the former, the external and audible voice, would be more convincing, then you might want to pause and think again. The truth is that God’s clearest and most certain form of communication to us is one that is internal. And even if there were an audible voice spoken from Heaven, as depicted in the Synoptic Gospels, that Voice would have to also be interiorly confirmed by faith in the hearts of the hearers so as to convince them on the deepest level.

Reflect, today, upon the spiritual truth that God the Father wants to speak to you in the depths of your own soul so as to draw you into a certainty about Himself and all that He has spoken as true. Do you hear God speak? Have you allowed yourself to be convinced by His Voice? Listen to Him today and allow all that He speaks to you to become the source and goal of all that you say and do in life.

Father in Heaven, You have revealed to me Who You are and Your plan for my life in many ways. And though You are always speaking to me, I acknowledge that I do not always listen. Please open my soul to You more fully so that I may come to faith and be certain of Your love and Your perfect will in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.

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Featured image above: Baptism of Christ By Andrea del Verrocchio, via Wikimedia Commons