St. John the Baptist’s calling as forerunner of Jesus was important simply because it was related to the work of the Lord. All of us receive gifts of nature and grace which make possible our part in the mission of Jesus. The effects of John’s ministry were far greater than John. Just as God could multiply the loaves and fishes, so too God could multiply the effects of John’s service. John rejoiced to hear the voice of the One he had been sent to precede. John was grateful for his gifts and graces. He didn’t merely use them; he was thankful for them.
In the feeding of the multitude, Jesus began by giving thanks. The bread and fishes for which Jesus gave thanks are a metaphor for the gifts and graces of Jesus’ disciples in their callings. For a successful service we need to remember that everything is a gift to be received and passed on with gratitude. When we are grateful the effect of our joy on others is contagious in a difficult and not very joyous world.
Today, Lord, let me be your witness not only by my service, but also by my joy. Thank you for calling me to yourself.