Knowing who we truly are

January 2, 2020 – Thursday before Epiphany – Memorial of Sts Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzen

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What is easier? To pretend who we are not or to be who we are truly? 

With the phenomenon of social media sites, it has become easier to pretend who we are not and to portray to others a self filled with icing. A person can just create multiple accounts on Facebook or Instagram and portray a different image of himself or herself. Others also can just display an image of himself or herself on social media sites different from what is real. 

Why is that? This comes from a deep longing of fulfilling a person’s desire to be recognized or praised by others. The space provided by the social media allowed such persons to be recognized and praised, that is, in gaining likes or shares and followers. Others would portray happy occasions through their pictures and videos to hide a painful and traumatic background of their life. Others would show how affluent and comfortable they are in life to hide their insecurity due to poverty. However, such attitude can also become problematic. Portraying to others whom we are not, distances us from our real self and thus, from recognizing who we are before God.

In today’s Gospel, John reminded us of the importance of recognizing our true self before God and before others. People were asking John if he was the Messiah or Elijah or some great prophets from the Old Testament. John could just easily pretend that he was someone else of great importance. However, John was honest enough to say that he is not God nor a great prophet. He was just a simple and humble friend of God, whose voice cries out in the dessert to bring people closer to God.

Thus, we are called today to be more accepting of ourselves with all our weaknesses and problems as well as our strengths and potentials. Being honest with ourselves is also being honest with God and with others. In that way, we become an authentic person who is not bothered of any pretension and insecurity. Hinaut pa.

Jom Baring, CSsR


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