January 3, 2020 – Friday before Epiphany – Memorial of the Most Holy name of Jesus
Click here for the readings http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/010320.cfm
At first, John the Baptist was not actually aware that it was his cousin Jesus who was the Messiah. Before the appearance of Jesus to the public, John has become popular among the people. He already had followers with him. People gathered wherever he went. People were amazed at what he proclaimed and were captured by his own charisma as a prophet. And so people flocked to be baptized by John.
John had all the fame if we would look at it in modern times. He had followers or likers. Yet, the fame that he was gaining from the people did not distract John. He remained humble and continued to seek the one greater than him, who was ahead of him for he was before him . The humility of John, his self-awareness and confidence in God actually led him to recognize God in Jesus, and recognized him as the Lamb of God.
If John had been self-absorbed, insecure and self-assuming, he could have claimed that he was the Messiah that the people had been waiting for. But no, John was faithful to his mission and was ready to disappear from the picture once the Messiah would reveal himself to the public.
Indeed, this was how John brought the people around him to also recognize God. As we have celebrated the birth of our Lord, hopefully, our Christmas has become an encounter with God. And in that encounter, we are called to bring God to others, to let others recognize God too through us.
This is the invitation for us today, that through us, our brothers and sisters, will recognize God’s presence in our life. That through us, people will feel God’s presence; through our actions and words people will be drawn not to us but to God.
And so like John, let us always be aware of ourselves. Let us be conscious when we turn to be selfish and self-absorbed because that will only reveal how insecure we are with ourselves. Let us be confident in God instead and recognize that what we have and that what we enjoy in this life are all coming from God.
Our mission as Christians, like John the Baptist, is to be the herald or the messenger of God to others – to bring others to Christ. So it means that we too first should be close to God by being sincere, humble, compassionate and loving to others even to those we do not like and people we hate. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR