Forerunner of Christ

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist and on August 29 the Memorial of his Passion, a requiem of sorts of his decapitation. Yes, as gory as that sounds we celebrate the day he was crowned with martyrdom through decapitation.

These feasts always remind me of the day 21 years ago that I consecrated myself to Christ through a lay Movement. I lived the life of a religious with 3+ hours of daily prayer, theological studies and missionary work. After three and a half years, I realized this life was not my calling, despite my deep desire to serve God, His Church and His people. Looking back, I wondered if perhaps the fact that I was consecrated on this bloody memorial was some kind of ominous foreshadowing that my vocation would die.

In the years hence, however, I have come to see death and memorials as more of a celebration of someone’s life, rather than a reliving of the way they died. I can now look beyond his decapitation and remember his legacy, in the same way I can look back on my temporary vocation as a time of personal growth and service to the Church instead of a failure.

John the Baptist was known as the great forerunner of Christ, one who “prepared the way of the Lord.” He was not afraid to take on practices that must have appeared strange to others in order to proclaim his message. He was bold, unashamed, and straightforward. He did not beat around the bush. He was truly the Lord’s “servant from the womb”, a “light to the nations” and “a man after [God’s] own heart” who carried out His every wish (Ref 1st & 2nd Readings).

As Christians we are called to do the very same. By our actions, our words (when necessary), our service and our prayer we are called to boldly proclaim the truth of Christ just as John the Baptist did. Our very lives should shine with the truth of the Gospel. “I praise you Lord, for I am wonderfully made,” the Psalm declares. He made us, we are His. There is no room for fear or embarrassment. The Spirt of Truth will guide the way. So get out there and preach it! Oh, and enjoy the locusts and wild honey while you’re at it…

Tami Urcia is wife and mother to her small army of boys. She works full time at Diocesan and is a freelance translator and blogger ( and She loves tackling home projects, keeping tabs on the family finances, and finding unique ways to love. Tami spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree. Her favorite things to do are spending time outside with the kiddos, quiet conversation with the hubby, and an occasional break from real life by getting a pedicure or a haircut. You can find out more about her here.