The Gospel according to John (1:29-34)
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel.”
John testified further, saying,
“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
Today’s Gospel focuses on the “testimony” of John the Baptist about Jesus being the one who had been foretold as the Messiah. Today, we read about an encounter between John the Baptist and Jesus, where John calls Jesus “the Lamb of God”. Curiously, though, we also see John the Baptist say of Jesus, “I did not know him.” How can it be that John the Baptist did not know his own cousin?
To help understand this, we must bear in mind that John the Evangelist highlights the divinity of Jesus throughout his Gospel. So, when he is saying that John the Baptist did not “know” Jesus, he’s highlighting the fact that no one really knew the divine nature of the person Jesus, or how it would be revealed. To me, coming to understand how Jesus wants to reveal Himself to and through me is the main part of my mission as His follower. On the good days, I feel like He is right there beside me, blessing all I do. On the difficult days, I feel like He is right there beside me, giving me the strength to continue, even when things aren’t going as I hope, or when I’m not acting as His follower. The point is that He never leaves any of us.
In Linda’s and my own parish of St Rita, our pastor gave all parishioners the gift of a book by Matthew Kelly entitled “Holy Moments”. In this book, Kelly describes what “holy moments” are, and how each of us is called to create them wherever we go. “Holy moments” are those instants in each day where God’s presence peeks through into our world, and where we make Him real by being kind, loving and forgiving, even when we don’t feel like it. Even though John the Baptist was well before Matthew Kelly, reading about John in the Gospels shows that he did create “holy moments” everywhere he went.
That’s the lesson for today. May each of us be like John the Baptist in creating “holy moments”, and may we testify to the light by shining that light wherever we go.
Happy New Year 2023, DEACON5 family! Wishing you all the blessings all year long!
Action for the Day:
Today, be open to creating “holy moments” with whomever God places in your path today!
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