“…and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.” (Luke 1:15)
This phrase is what struck me the most during my Lectio this evening. It is in regards to John the Baptist. Gabriel gives this wonderful message to John’s father, Zachariah.
What strikes me most is that John the Baptist is filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother’s womb. Why is this important? We find the answer a few paragraphs later in Luke, “and when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 1:41)
It seems to me that God wishes to recognize himself in us. That is the way in which he sees us – filled with the Holy Spirit, his life. We are but dust yet God lifts us up to share in his life. He recognizes us when he sees himself in us, filled with the Holy Spirit.
When Mary visits Elizabeth she is pregnant with Jesus. The Immaculate Conception who was filled with the Holy Spirit and who held within her womb God incarnate, visited her cousin who held within her womb a boy who is filled with the Holy Spirit. God rejoices, leaps for joy when he recognizes himself in us. The only response of God seeing himself in us, sharing his life with us, is a leap for joy.
On judgment day I feel that God will first try to see himself in us. Will he see himself in us and leap for joy or will he see the stain of sin which tarnishes his vision? The Holy Spirit dwells within those who love God. When he sees himself within us he responds with joy.
It was necessary for John the Baptist to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It was his vocation to proclaim the coming of God in the flesh. He started his vocation in the womb of his mother with a little leap.
The life of an oblate is be open to the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is to proclaim in a loud voice – like John – that the Messiah is coming and yet has already arrived. It is the duty of an oblate to sing the praises of God – maybe with a little leap of joy – and to proclaim that God longs to see himself in us.
“…and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.” Sit for a moment and meditate on that. See the graciousness of God and how he longs to see himself in you.