Food for the Journey: Food for those who wait
by Diocese of Des Moines | January 5, 2022
By John Huynh
St. John the Baptist’s life reflects so perfectly our advent: faith, expectation, patience, and longing for what is not yet visible while the world moves with mocking laughter. St. John spoke the truth to the head of the state and so he was arrested and imprisoned. It seems to serve him right. And God, too, leaves his prophet in the cell; it seems as though God has also sided with those who imprisoned the prophet.
But God’s preacher is not a reed shaken by the wind. He believes despite everything that has happened to him. He has spent his life preparing the way for God. In the depths of his heart, John knows that God comes in his own time and does things in a very different manner than what humanity is used to: God wins by losing; He gives life by first dying; He does not give food but he becomes food so that we will never again be hungry.
Our whole life is one long Advent season for we still wait for the one who is to come. Only when Jesus comes again will we be proven right. The Church is the voice crying out from the wilderness to our own generation. She cries out to us, announcing that there will be a coming, a final coming, where the radical and redemptive love of Christ will relieve many of our current sufferings.
And this love will come when God wills it; not when it suits us. We all must wait, even the Church. We must learn, St. John teaches us, to be patient in our own preparation for the Lord’s coming. Until then the world laughs and we weep, like the baptist, in a dungeon of seemingly unanswered petitions, of our own frailty, of our longing for truth in a world full of falsehoods.
But just like St. John the Baptist, we must come to God in prayer with faith, and a faith that is not shaken by the wind will receive a sufficient answer, “Go and tell John what you see…and blessed is he who takes no offence at me” (Lk 7:22). Truly, the sufficient answer in our time is the body and blood of the Lord which suits our needs! God has not fully abandoned us; He draws even nearer. And every day, we will send messengers from our own faithful prayers to him, and in our reception of the Eucharist, he responds: I am coming, blessed is he who takes no offence at me.