Last Sunday we spoke about Jesus robbing us of all that robs us of his peace. We were led to giving Jesus permission to remove from us, to steal from us, that which steals us from him.
This week we have another image, the leather belt. A leather belt was around St. John the Baptist's waist.
The belt implied John the Baptist's willingness to be led by the Lord. It implied the willingness of John the Baptist to be taken by the belt, and brought by the Lord to the place where he, the Lord, wants us to be. A place of freedom; remember the pull of the Lord is always a force of love.
We experience this pull in different ways.
- The world, the flesh, and the Devil, try to pull us to a place that we might think is a place of freedom; but, ultimately it is not. It is a place of slavery. Here, we never come to discover our purpose or our mission. We never come to a place of understanding that God's plan for our life is a plan of love, mercy and freedom.
- Conversely, a life lived according to our purpose and mission in the mercy of God is the most rewarding, most beautiful thing we can experience in life. We can't get there on our own, only Jesus can do this. He wants for me to give him permission, to hold up my hands and put a belt around my waist and let him lead me where he wants me to be.
Today, we are invited to decide to put ourselves under the lordship of Jesus Christ, and ask him to lead us by the belt, which is around our waist, to the discovery of our vocation and the location where we will experience freedom, serenity, and the peace that comes from knowing that Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
If you are ready to surrender I invite you to join me in this prayer.
"Lord Jesus, I praise and thank you for the gift of this day, this time, Lord Jesus, where I can respond to your invitation. Lord Jesus, I hear you calling me. I desire, Lord Jesus, to respond, to say yes to your call, to say yes to your invitation. Lord Jesus, I don't know how to get there. I want to discover your plan, your call, your vocation for my life. Where Lord Jesus, where are you calling me to serve you? How are you calling me to serve you?
"Lord Jesus, today, in imitation of St. John the Baptist, I put up my arms. I surrender myself to you and I invite you, Lord Jesus, to put a belt around my waist. Lead me Jesus to where you would have me be. I repent Lord Jesus of the ways in which I have allowed people, places, and things to pull me in directions which are not of you, to take me to places where I have not experienced your freedom. I repent of that, Lord Jesus.
"I give you, Jesus, permission today to lead me, by the belt around my waist, to that place of freedom, serenity, and peace. Jesus I trust in you, Jesus I love you, Jesus I accept you as the Lord and saviour of my life, the Prince of Peace. Come Lord Jesus, come Holy Spirit, have your way. Amen.