PS 30:2 AND 4, 5-6, 11-12A AND 13B
Ironically, the two plants I’ve managed to kill during my four years here at SLU were cacti. I simply overestimated how long the cactus could go without water. However, cacti are interesting plants with their threatening, sharp spikes and ability to live in excruciating, overwhelmingly hot temperatures in the desert. Yet in this place of desolation and dryness where nothing flourishes, cacti bring forth beautiful flowers of radiant reds and pinks. The life-giving water stored up in the green walls of a cactus help it to produce blossoming flowers in the sweltering sun. In the most unlikely of plants, a cactus, generally perceived as thorny and unwelcoming, blooms a gorgeous symbol of life in the beauty of its flowers.
John the Baptist spent most of his time in the desert proclaiming the goodness of God and instructing others to turn from their evil ways as our “voice crying in the desert.” Jesus describes John as more than a prophet, as God’s messenger, and with the words “among those born of women, no one is greater than John.” John embraces the traditionalist views of a dramatic destruction of sin and rebuilding of God’s Kingdom, but he also opens up the door for Jesus to come into the lives of the Jewish people, but more importantly, into our lives. John the Baptist, the man who lived in the desert eating locusts and wearing camel hair, brought forth the flower of love and life that is Jesus Christ. However, Jesus also said that even the “least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.” That being said, you are Christ’s precious flower in the desert of this world filled with hopelessness and despair.
Therefore, today I ask you to look inside the walls of yourself and discover that life-giving water of the Holy Spirit within you. When you truly believe and feel God living within you, the good works that you do through Jesus Christ are your own unique and beautiful desert flowers of love and life.
Jennifer Mathews is a senior at SLU studying biomedical engineering with minors in Mathematics and Health Care Ethics.