JOHN THE BAPTIST was really talking about vocation out there in the wilderness, wasn’t he? Prepare yourselves for a new world. That seems to have been the message.
Bring together the best of the old with the best of the new. Leave the dross behind. Take a cold bath and rise up out of it renewed, ready to rise and shine. Look about you, every day and always, for the coming of a Word who’ll proclaim that the hands in which the new world will be held and shaped and moulded and nurtured belong to you, and you, and you …
The City of Peace will be built not of stones. The new Jerusalem will be built upon the hopes, the aspirations, the “sacrifice” of those who prove willing to risk traversing lonely highways in the desert because they somehow just have an instinct that there’s a voice to be heard out there (or in there) in the wilderness that’s just too important to miss.
And that’s why, in what has been one of my busiest months in a long time, I’m as happy as a sandboy. I’ve been doing what parish priests love doing. I’ve been talking with one willing disciple after another about vocation, vocation, vocation. And the light in their eyes is reflected in mine. Yes, yes, again:
let earth to heaven draw near;
lift up our hearts to seek thee there,
Come down to meet us here.
This is the day of light
Hymns Ancient & Modern Revised 42
John Ellerton, 1867