By Sem. Carmelo Pocdol
In today’s Gospel, St. John the Baptist has shown us the precise attitude of a Christian, the one who follows and accepts the light that Jesus Christ himself has given us. Christ Jesus is our great light and we who have seen this light received the gifts brought by the love of Jesus.
I always wanted to help the catechsits of the parish to prepare public school students, for the reception of their first Holy Communion. It allowed me to bring the children near to Jesus through the sacrament. It was a humbling experience to offer my time and presence not just for the students but most especially to Jesus Christ. I am aware that serving Him is what I must do in life. It is my exact expression of telling Jesus of my love for Him and His people the church. It also means that He is my God, my king, and that before Him, I am called to be little and insignificant because in reality, He must increase and I decrease. All of these are building blocks of my vocation story. It is He who has called me to be near to Him and serve Him in the priestly ministry. Pursuing this priest-in-process journey is a chance to depend and trust in the love of God- the author of this vocation, family relationships, and friendships.
My desire to become a witness of Jesus’ presence and love among ordinary people is propelled first by His unconditional love to me. My love for him is just a response and that he is ultimately the reason of this journey that I am pursuing, in this priestly formation. I have been like John the Baptist as I continue to offer my life for his Gospel be proclaimed to all the people.
Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea,
where he spent some time with them baptizing.
John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim,
because there was an abundance of water there,
and people came to be baptized,
for John had not yet been imprisoned.
Now a dispute arose between the disciples of John and a Jew
about ceremonial washings.
So they came to John and said to him,
“Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan,
to whom you testified,
here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.”
John answered and said,
“No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven.
You yourselves can testify that I said that I am not the Christ,
but that I was sent before him.
The one who has the bride is the bridegroom;
the best man, who stands and listens for him,
rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice.
So this joy of mine has been made complete.
He must increase; I must decrease.”