Thursday, 17 January 2013

Reflections on the Feast of John the Baptist - Sunday 24th June 2012

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
John 1:4-5

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:13-14

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 
John 7:37-8

The feast of the birth of John the Baptist can be one of those windows into the interior mystery of the Christian faith - this year as I sat in church and listened to the readings I became aware of the close link between the births of Christ and John the Baptist at opposite times of the year - one at the winter solstice and one at the summer solstice, as well as the words of John himself: "He must increase as I decrease" (John 3:30). So if the sun at the summer solstice will only decrease from that point on then we surely must associate John the Baptist with the withdrawal and interiorisation of that principle, whereas at midwinter the sun begins its long process of increase, so Christ is associated with that moving out and exteriorisation of the solar principle.
But what does this mean? What truth is this intended to convey? The link between light and dark is evident here - when the light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not receive it. And Jesus and John are placed in the position of the Tanit lord of darkness and lord of light that would do battle with each other in the old pagan year. But who decided to put them in that relationship to each other? Was it really so there would be an easier transition for the pagan converts?

No comments:

Post a Comment