On that first Christmas Day the Word became flesh. God became man, so that man could one day be saved. This is history’s greatest news, and it must be shared. Vox must proclaim Verbum. Discover what this means in today’s message.
Isaiah 40:3 tells us, “A voice proclaims: In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!” John the Baptist became that voice. Will we also become a voice that proclaims the Lord?
In John 1:19-23 the Jews sent priests and Levites to ask John the Baptist, “Who are you?” John responds by saying, “I am not the Messiah.” When pressed further John said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, “Make straight the way of the Lord, as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Look around the world today. We see wars, crimes, mass chaos, school shootings, mall shootings, secularism run amok, and not only a growing distain for Christian values, but a growing distain for the will of God. Once again, we are “living in the wilderness.” Surrounded by evil in the world, we must ask ourselves, “Will I do something?” “Will I be a voice in the wilderness?” “Will I make straight a highway for God in this crooked world?” “Will I speak out about sin and injustice?”
The Latin word for voice is Vox. The Latin word for word is Verbum. John’s Gospel tells us, the Word became flesh, referring to the birth of Jesus Christ. His Gospel also tells us that John the Baptist proclaimed the good news of Jesus. So therefore, John through his voice, announced Jesus (the Word became flesh) to the world. In other words, voice proclaimed Word or Vox proclaimed Verbum.
Romans 10:14 states, “But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?” We proclaim “The Word” by both voice and deed. Certainly, we proclaim the Word that became flesh when we live an authentically Christian life. But we should never shy away from proclaiming Jesus with our voice.
The Word that became flesh is eternal, but you and me, however, are like a vapor, that passes away. Others in our life are also passing away. We are all here today and gone tomorrow. We never know how much time we have to share the good news with someone. We have a finite time to use our “vox!” We must use it to proclaim Jesus to others while we still have time to speak, and they have time to listen.
Vox proclaims Verbum! We must all ask ourselves, “Am I truly a voice crying out in the wilderness of this broken world?” “Am I willing to proclaim Christ to a world staving to know Him?” Paraphrasing a famous quote, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good Christians to say nothing. The risk is too great, we can’t remain silent.
St. Augustine described the proclamation, “A voice cries out in the wilderness,” as a prefigurement for the role of the priesthood. Through Baptism all Christians receive a share in the royal priesthood. Zachariah was a temple priest but when he doubted the angel, he was struck mute. Will we also be struck mute? Have we already become mute? Are we willing to be the voice that cries out in the wilderness of our modern world? We know for certain that Jesus is Verbum. The big question is will we be the Vox that tells His story?
In John 3:30, speaking about Jesus, John the Baptist said, “He must increase, I must decrease.” These words should challenge us. On Christmas Jesus was born into the world; now we must let Him be born anew in us. We must allow Christ to increase in our lives, and we must allow our ego to decrease. We must use our voice to speak more about God and less about us. Psalm 96:1-3 sums up today’s message:
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his marvelous deeds.
A new year has just begun. It is an ideal time to make a resolution to change. May I suggest this resolution for each of us. “In the new year, I will work harder at becoming the VOX that proclaims the VERBUM!
Heavenly Father, without you I would not have a voice. Without you I could not speak. You graciously granted me my voice. Now Lord help me to use it to proclaim the Word. Help me to keep the name of Jesus always on my lips. Help me to be a voice that cries out in the wilderness of this broken world. Amen!
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