Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Monday 04 March |
Saint of the Day: St. Casimir
Aleteia logo
Spirituality
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Why St. John the Baptist is the model for all catechists

Saint John THE BAPTIST

Adam Jan Figel | Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 12/09/23

St. John Paul II pointed to St. John the Baptist as the prime example for all catechists, pointing the way to the Messiah.
Without donors, Aleteia's future is uncertain.
Join our Lenten Campaign 2024.
PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TO ALETEIA

At times St. John the Baptist can be intimidating, as he lived a radical life in the desert, boldly calling all people to repentance.

Yet St. John Paul II pointed to him as an example for all catechists, explaining his thoughts on the Jubilee for Catechists in 2000:

What figure could be more fitting for your Jubilee than John the Baptist, dear catechists and Catholic religion teachers?…In the Baptist you are rediscovering today the fundamental features of your ecclesial service. By taking him as your model, you are encouraged to examine the mission entrusted to you by the Church.

Making straight the paths of the Lord

One of the principal ways a catechist can imitate St. John the Baptist is to point people towards Christ:

Like John the Baptist, the catechist too is called to point out Jesus as the awaited Messiah, the Christ. His task is to invite people to fix their gaze on Jesus and to follow him, for Jesus alone is the Teacher, the Lord and the Savior. Like the Precursor, it is Christ and not himself whom the catechist must emphasize. Everything must be directed to him:  to his coming, to his presence, to his mystery.

Catechists are also called to encounter the people they teach by showing them how the faith can be integrated into their daily life:

St Luke speaks of “ways to be made straight,” of “valleys to be filled,” of “mountains” and “hills to be brought low” so that all flesh may see the salvation of God (cf. Lk 3:4-6). These “valleys to be filled” make us think of the gap that can be seen in some people between the faith they profess and the daily life they lead: The Council counted this dichotomy as “one of the gravest errors of our time” (Gaudium et spesn. 43).

Last, but not least, a catechist should imitate St. John the Baptist’s commitment to living out the Gospel in his own life:

In the Baptist you are rediscovering today the fundamental features of your ecclesial service. By taking him as your model, you are encouraged to examine the mission entrusted to you by the Church. Who is John the Baptist? First of all he is a believer personally committed to a demanding spiritual journey, consisting of attentive and constant listening to the Word of salvation. He also bears witness to a way of life that is detached and poor; he shows great courage in proclaiming God’s will to everyone, even to its ultimate consequences. 

St. John the Baptist certainly is an imposing figure, but his life can inspire all catechists to take their mission seriously, and proclaim the Gospel with all their strength.

Tags:
Pope John Paul II
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.