A few years ago in Reader’s Digest, a lady named Barbara Bartocci reported searching for the perfect birthday card for her husband. She came across a promising one.

On the outside it read: “Sweetheart, you’re the answer to my prayers.” Then she turned to the inside, which was inscribed, “You’re not what I prayed for exactly, but apparently you are the answer.”

In a strange way, something like that was running through John’s mind as he sat there in that prison. He and his people had hoped and prayed for years for a Messiah, one anointed by God to lead the nation, a deliverer who would vanquish occupying forces, conquer all enemies, establish a great Kingdom, and usher in an era of peace and prosperity.

In time past, and not that long ago, John had come to believe that the prayers had been answered. The Messiah was none other than his own cousin, Jesus of Nazareth. But Jesus’ mission was spiritual.

Submitted by Fr. Joseph Dovari